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In the US, have COVID-19 deaths been evenly distributed among registered party voters?

That is, early in 2020 the blue states were the first to suffer. Later in 2020, the red states are suffering. For 2020 as a whole is the mortality rate about equal for both major parties, or has one side suffered greater mortality?

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    With death and infection rate disparities between rich and poor people, and between White people and people of color, and those characteristic having a significant correlation with party affiliation, I would be surprised if that were the case. Of course, Trump promotes carelessness about the virus, which probably bumps up infection and death rates among Republicans, but I doubt it can outweigh these sorts of disparities. – Obie 2.0 Dec 24 '20 at 7:03
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    Also, since reinfection is a possibility, it's not necessarily a matter "one and done," where it would just be a question of whether someone got it early or late. Since we are talking about deaths, we also have improvements in treatment over the course of the pandemic, so people who get it now are better off. With a vaccine, some people may even never get it, so the people who got it first (disproportionately urban versus rural, for instance) have a significant disadvantage in that sense too. – Obie 2.0 Dec 24 '20 at 7:10
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    It's cases, not deaths, but since the start of June, the rate of new cases per capita in states that voted for Trump in 2016 has consistently been two to three times higher than the rate in states that voted for Clinton. – Mark Dec 24 '20 at 7:52
  • @Mark In theory, Republican states could use better testing. In even more theoretical theory, they could systematically test Democrat voters repeatedly. – gnasher729 Dec 24 '20 at 9:50
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I strongly doubt the CDC collects data on this angle (party affiliation) among the demographics factors they do ask for. So any answer is probably going to be an approximation based on where people lived. In that regard AEI has a breakdown by red/blue/swing states, but only to mid Oct and it's per-capita rather than raw number of deaths.

enter image description here

There's also a preprint from a UNC emeritus biostat prof modelling this difference further:

In a forward stepwise procedure in a multivariable model for case rate, percentages of the state population that were Hispanic or black, median age, median income, population density, and (residual) percentage poverty were retained as statistically significant and explained 62% of the variation between states in case rates. In a model with political party in power included, along with any additional variables that notably affected the adjusted association between party in power and case rate, 69% of the variance between states in case rates was explained, and adjusted case rates per 100,000 people were 2155 for states with Democratic governments, 2269 for states with mixed governments, and 2738 for Republican-led states. These estimates are based on data through October 8, 2020.

Conclusions: U.S. state-specific demographic and socio-economic variables are strongly associated with the states’ COVID-19 case rates, so must be considered in analysis of variation in case rates between the states. Adjusting for these factors, states with Democrats as the party in power have lower case rates than Republican-led states. [...]

A similar analysis of COVID-19 death rates gave adjusted death rates that were lower in Democratic states and mixed government states than in Republican states, though not statistically significant lower. Whether we found a statistically significant association of death rate with the percentage Democratic of the vote in the 2016 presidential election depended on how we analyzed the percentage, though the associations were in the same direction as those in the party-in-power analysis.

A somewhat similar paper from different authors:

For death rates, Republican-led states had lower average rates early in the pandemic, but higher rates from July 13 (RR=1.22, 95% PI: 1.03,1.37) through September 30 (RR=1.74, 95% PI: 1.20, 2.24).

Pew also has some stats like this, but somewhat more fine-grained, at the level of congressional district:

enter image description here

And they have a more up-to-date graph in the style of the AEI one, but this one is not per-capita:

enter image description here

COVID-19 deaths in the March through May period were more than four times as high in strongly Democratic districts (where Republican congressional candidates received less than 25% of the vote in the 2018 midterm elections) as in districts where Republican candidates won more than 60% of the 2018 vote.

But from September through November, the death rate has been roughly twice as high in Republican strongholds than in places where the GOP lost the 2018 vote by wide margins. (Note: 2018 vote share is used for this analysis, since district-level data is not yet complete for the 2020 election.) [...]

While the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Democratic districts remains higher overall, new deaths have been higher on average in Republican-controlled districts since the end of July. New deaths in Republican controlled districts began increasing in mid-October while they were still falling somewhat overall in Democratically controlled districts. However, since November, deaths have been rising in both Republican and Democratic districts.

So if you want to go with this last (district-level) measure, which seems the most fine-grained data available, overall the "Republican" deaths from Covid-19 still have not caught up with the "Democratic" ones, as a cumulative figure.

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    I might be wrong, but I read that the areas where Republicans are strong usually have small districts, and Democrats are stronger in areas with large district, with the result that Republicans always win many more, but smaller districts. If that is true, then the average number of COVID deaths in Republican districts would automatically be lower because they are smaller districts. – gnasher729 Dec 24 '20 at 9:55
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    @gnasher729: yes the farrier comparison is per-capita (which the first three sources I've quoted use), but the OP asked for absolute numbers, which only Pew sort-of addresses with their per-district average, as problematic as that measure may be. – Fizz Dec 24 '20 at 10:02
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    @gnasher729: What do you mean by "small"? Republican districts tend to be rural, and thus fairly large, while Democratic ones tend urban, and thus smaller. (In area: all Congressional districts are supposed to have approximately the same population.) And since populations are more dispersed in rural areas, one would think that, all else being equal, there would be less chance of disease transmission. Since by these figures, there's now more disease in Republican districts, all else must not be equal. And I think we can hazard a guess as to what, can't we? – jamesqf Dec 24 '20 at 18:28
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    @agc: sure, but the lists of names are not public, IIRC. I think even the CDC might not have them in a central location. They assign ids to cases iirc. Someone would have to be really motivated (and funded) for this kind of (detective) work. – Fizz Dec 25 '20 at 8:14
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    @agc: see recent controversy regarding lists of vaccinated people nytimes.com/2020/12/08/us/politics/… – Fizz Dec 25 '20 at 8:21

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