Tag: democratic voters
Numbers Show Republican Pandemic Policies Killing Off Their Own Base

Numbers Show Republican Pandemic Policies Killing Off Their Own Base

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

When COVID-19 was overwhelming New York City hospitals during the 2020 spring, a silly talking point in right-wing media was that residents of red states didn't need to worry about the pandemic because it only posed a threat to Democratic areas. But COVID-19, just as health experts predicted, found its way to red states in a brutal way. And the current COVID-19 surge is especially severe in red states that have lower vaccination rates. Journalist David Leonhardt, in an article published by the New York Times this week, examines a disturbing pattern: red states where residents are more likely to be anti-vaxxers and more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die from it.

Leonhardt explains, "A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 86 percent of Democratic voters had received at least one shot, compared with 60 percent of Republican voters. The political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of U.S.-based adults have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. But vaccination rates can vary considerably from one state to another. The Mayo Clinic reports that rates for at least partial vaccination range from 77 percent in Vermont to 49 percent in Mississippi, 46 percent in Idaho and 52 percent in Alabama. Vermont is a deep blue state with a moderate Republican governor, while Mississippi, Idaho, and Alabama are deep red states that former President Donald Trump won by a landslide in 2020.

"It's worth remembering that COVID followed a different pattern for more than a year after its arrival in the U.S.," Leonhardt explains. "Despite widespread differences in mask wearing — and scientific research suggesting that masks reduce the virus' spread — the pandemic was, if anything, worse in blue regions. Masks evidently were not powerful enough to overcome other regional differences, like the amount of international travel that flows through major metro areas, which tend to be politically liberal. Vaccination has changed the situation."

Leonhardt continues, "The vaccines are powerful enough to overwhelm other differences between blue and red areas. Some left-leaning communities — like many suburbs of New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as much of New England — have such high vaccination rates that even the unvaccinated are partly protected by the low number of cases. Conservative communities, on the other hand, have been walloped by the highly contagious Delta variant."

The Times reporter notes that in many other developed countries, the pandemic hasn't been politicized to the degree that it has in the United States.

"What distinguishes the U.S. is a conservative party — the Republican Party — that has grown hostile to science and empirical evidence in recent decades," Leonhardt observes. "A conservative media complex, including Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast Group and various online outlets, echoes and amplifies this hostility. Trump took the conspiratorial thinking to a new level, but he did not create it."

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, in a Twitter thread posted over the weekend, argues that Republicans are "killing off" their own voters by promoting anti-vaxxer and anti-masker views:

Feigl-Ding points out that under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil — not unlike red states in the U.S.— has suffered high COVID-19 infection rates:

Leonhardt notes that the Delta variant has been especially deadly in Republican areas.

"Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S.," according to Leonhardt, "COVID has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000."

How Democratic Institutions Can Resist Trump’s Final Barrage Of Lies

How Democratic Institutions Can Resist Trump’s Final Barrage Of Lies

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

As President Trump jetted to 17 rallies mostly at regional airports in swing states in his sprint to Election Day, he has campaigned as he has governed. Trump reeled off countless untruths about every topic—perhaps most importantly, about voting and counting votes this November.

At a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where 437,000 voters had requested absentee ballots and nearly 80 percent have been returned as of November 2, and the rest could arrive in the mail as late as Friday and still be counted if postmarked by Election Day, Trump smeared the Democratic-led city government. "Are they going to mysteriously find more ballots" after polls close, he said. "Strange things have been known to happen, especially in Philadelphia."

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New Poll Shows Jewish Voters Sticking With Biden, Democrats

So Trump thinks Jews should vote for him, huh? That's what he has said on multiple occasions, including on August 20, 2019, when, as part of a comment about Israel, he smeared Jews with the old canard of dual loyalty: "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty [to Israel]." Riiiiight. Because why wouldn't we love someone who proclaimed that there were "very fine people on both sides" of a rally where one of the sides consisted of neo-Nazis chanting "Jews will not replace us?" But hey, a creamsicle-colored guy can dream, right? Looks like that's one more of Trump's dreams—delusions? self-deceptions?—that will never come true.

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Democratic Aspirations Are Headed For The Ash Heap

Democratic Aspirations Are Headed For The Ash Heap

Most political analysts and pundits — myself included — spent the election season predicting the death of the Republican Party, which was embroiled in civil war. We were right: The GOP, at least the GOP of Ronald Reagan and the George Bushes, is dead.

The party in power calls itself Republican, but it is really the party of Donald Trump. We are about to find out what that means.

Still — along with dismissing the plausibility of a President Trump — the commentariat missed an equally important development that is now startlingly obvious: The Democratic Party is bleeding out and near death, too. It may not be terminal, but it is certainly comatose. It may recover, but even if it does, its health will be fragile for years, if not decades, to come.

As a few recounts around the country continue, it’s clear that Republican governors and state legislative candidates have romped to victory in most races. The GOP (or the party of Trump) now controls the vast majority of governorships and legislatures. Brooklyn College history professor Robert David Johnson told The Washington Post that a political party has not been so dominant since the World War II era.

That’s after taking into account the smoldering heap of Democratic aspirations left behind at the federal level. Republicans now control the White House, both branches of Congress and, shortly, the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only is there a vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia, but there are two justices over the age of 80 (liberal Ruth Bader Ginsberg and moderate Anthony Kennedy) and one who is 78 (liberal Stephen Breyer).

That means that Trump could conceivably pick four justices with no resistance from a GOP-controlled Senate. If he chooses conservative justices who are, say, in their 50s, the nation’s governing document will be interpreted by a right-wing faction for more than a generation.

That means that President Obama, whom Democrats once believed would be transformational, will have no legacy beyond serving two terms as the nation’s first black president. Every major policy or program he put in place is about to be overturned. His executive orders on issues such as deportation will be easiest to reverse, of course.

But a President Trump will also find few obstacles on his way to repealing the Affordable Care Act. Or rolling back Obama’s agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear program. Or reversing the president’s seemingly historic treaty to curb climate change. The Donald has pledged to rescind all these, and there is no reason to doubt him. Republican leaders already had those legacy-making accomplishments in their gun-sights.

Looking back, the signs of a Democratic Party skating toward disaster have been apparent for some time. Since Obama’s first term, news accounts have recorded the decline of state Democratic organizations around the country, a dangerous frailty that became more apparent after the 2010 midterm elections.

The backlash against President Obama was already in full roar, and furious Tea Partiers and their GOP establishment allies turned out at the ballot box in droves. The highly vaunted Obama coalition, by contrast, apparently didn’t understand the importance of those elections, and Republicans took over statehouses, Congress and the U.S. Senate. But because the White House was still in Democratic hands, it was easier to overlook the vulnerabilities lurking just beneath the level of the Oval Office.

Now, there is nothing to stop a rollback of the personal liberties and human rights that Americans had begun to take for granted. Vice President-elect Pence, a Christian fundamentalist, will surely want abortion rights abolished and the full array of gay and lesbian rights curbed. Gay marriage? There is every reason to expect right-wingers will try to get a new Supreme Court to overturn its historic marriage ruling.

Perhaps, though, those rollbacks in personal and civil liberties would seed a rebirth of the progressive movement and the political party that has, for decades now, been associated with it: the Democratic Party. It’s a shame that the nation will first have to suffer through some oppressive times to get there.

Cynthia Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.

IMAGE: Campaign Chairman John Podesta  hugs Tina Flournoy, chief of staff to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, as they attend an event being held by Hillary Clinton to address her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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