Trump supporters, particularly in the great Appalachians, tend to be older and heavier, traits correlated to underlying conditions that make Covid-19 more deadly, he said. Smoking levels – another leading indicator of vulnerability – also tend to be higher in the red areas.
The analysis comes as Trump’s management of the coronavirus increasingly pushes the elderly who supported him in 2016, when the cohort supported him above Hillary Clinton by 7%. Older voters regularly vote at higher rates and have broken in favor of the GOP for much of two decades.
Seniors, in significant numbers, give priority to fighting the virus at the expense of reviving the economy, according to a series of recent polls. And Trump himself has begun to recognize the impact of his policies on the older cohort.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the president applauded the states for reopening. “Special care is, and will always be, given to our beloved elders (except me!),” Added Trump in his message. “Their lives will be better than ever … WE LOVE YOU ALL!” “
He used similar language late last month, saying. “Seniors will be watched with protection and love.”
Researchers into the death study said they found the virus could also ravage Republicans in Florida and Georgia, where GOP leaders have withdrawn from aggressive defenses. The study looked at the total number of deaths predicted statewide, which explains the spiral projections of the virus into densely populated urban areas that are home to more Democrats.
However, there are caveats beyond the death figures used: researchers used national death rates because deaths by state were rare at first. They also applied national percentages of voters by age, not state-by-state figures. But Johnson noted that this could actually minimize the effects in places like Florida, where the GOP is more dependent on older voters.