Which metric is a better predictor of the severity of the fall surge in US states?

1) Margin of Democrat victory in Nov 2020 election
2) % infected through Sep 1, 2020

Can you guess which plot is which?

The left plot is based on the % infected through Sep 1, 2020. You can see that there is very little correlation with the % infected since Sep 1.

However, there is a *strong* correlation when using the margin of Biden's victory (right).

Infections % from https://t.co/WcXlfxv3Ah.
This is the strongest single variable I've seen in being able to explain the severity of this most recent wave in each state.

Not past infections / existing immunity, population density, racial makeup, latitude / weather / humidity, etc.

But political lean.
One can argue that states that lean Democrat are more likely to implement restrictions/mandates.

This is valid, so we test this by using the Government Stringency Index made by @UniofOxford.

We also see a correlation, but it's weaker (R^2=0.36 vs 0.50).

To avoid look-ahead bias/confounding variables, here is the same analysis but using 2016 margin of victory as the predictor. Similar results.

This basically says that 2016 election results is a better predictor of the severity of the fall wave than intervention levels in 2020!
For completeness, here is the correlation between political leaning and intervention levels for all 50 states (R^2 = 0.30).
In the coming months/years, you will see lots of published research incorrectly attribute causal relationship between level of intervention and severity of the fall wave.

But the reality is that political leaning is a heavy confounding variable, and we must be cognizant of this.
Rather than judging a state's pandemic response in a vacuum based on raw cases/deaths, we should instead look at how states expect to do given the demographics.

If we were to use the plot above, then states like WV/ME/VT outperformed expectations, while SD/WI/CA underperformed.
(Of course, we probably need a more complex model with more variables to do a better "expectations" analysis)

For some more single variate correlation analysis, see my thread from last month:

Caveat: just because correlations may be "baked in" does not mean that we should just give up and do nothing.

Rather, it's important to tamper expectations. Interventions and restrictions will help, but unless we can change political beliefs, there seems to be a very real limit.
Here's the raw infections data so anyone can replicate these findings: https://t.co/qM3yjeXtND

Election data: https://t.co/PUIJeHoDVg

If anyone finds a stronger explanatory variable, please let me know.
I'll end here. Here's a final takeaway:

It's human nature to want to feel like we can control the future. This applies to everyone, including policy makers and public health experts.

But this pandemic has taught us that sometimes, there is a limit to what we have control over.
Update: A follower suggested incorporating county-level election results (from https://t.co/17nDgW85TP).

Here are the results (2016 left, 2020 right). The correlation is decent given 3000+ data points.

It'd be hard to find another explanatory variable with stronger correlation.
Update #2: Another suggestion was to look at deaths, so here it is.

Left plot is total deaths in the pandemic. Right plot is total deaths since Sep 1, 2020. No correlation on left, decent correlation on right.

More from Government

🧵⬇️1. Fb is LifeLog, LifeLog is Darpa, and DARPA is a Enterprise Run by CIA... Well... Past President... Big Tech, Big Pharma, MSM, HOLLYWOOD, DC...

Past Presidents....Zuckerberg, Gates...
All C_A... the Family business.... The company...

2. Past Presidents....Zuckerberg, Gates...
All C_A... the Family business.... The company...The Farm.... all C_A assets... most of them related by blood, business, or marriage...

3. "The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst." - J. Edgar Hoover

4. diff. names & faces.... Monsters that lurk in the Shadows. Swamp, Deep State, Establishment, Globalist Elite Cabal...

Shall we go back...How far back...

5. I know these monsters... it's when I try to explain them to others is when I run into a problem.This is why I'm better at retweeting and compiling. I never know where to start... Everytime I try to thread, i end up w/ a messy monstrous web.I'm better at helping others thread.

You May Also Like

Trump is gonna let the Mueller investigation end all on it's own. It's obvious. All the hysteria of the past 2 weeks about his supposed impending firing of Mueller was a distraction. He was never going to fire Mueller and he's not going to

Mueller's officially end his investigation all on his own and he's gonna say he found no evidence of Trump campaign/Russian collusion during the 2016 election.

Democrats & DNC Media are going to LITERALLY have nothing coherent to say in response to that.

Mueller's team was 100% partisan.

That's why it's brilliant. NOBODY will be able to claim this team of partisan Democrats didn't go the EXTRA 20 MILES looking for ANY evidence they could find of Trump campaign/Russian collusion during the 2016 election

They looked high.

They looked low.

They looked underneath every rock, behind every tree, into every bush.

And they found...NOTHING.

Those saying Mueller will file obstruction charges against Trump: laughable.

What documents did Trump tell the Mueller team it couldn't have? What witnesses were withheld and never interviewed?


Mueller got full 100% cooperation as the record will show.