The Partisan Split on Coronavirus Is Extraordinary

To recast an old formula, it appears that Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus. I don’t know how else to explain the deep gulf that separates Democrats from Republicans when it comes to the Wuhan flu. Check out these numbers, from Gallup:


I gave a speech on the politics of the coronavirus at Hillsdale College’s Constitution Day in northern Virginia a few weeks ago. They haven’t made it embeddable, but you can see it, along with the rest of the presentations at that event, here. In my speech I argued, among other things, that Democrats tend to be clustered in institutions and occupations that have been relatively lightly impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns, while Republicans predominate in the areas (e.g., small business) that the shutdowns have hit the hardest. But Gallup is measuring something different: not self-interest, but fear.

It has been true for a while that political alignment has less to do with traditional factors like regional economic interests and more to do with personality types. Reactions to the Wuhan virus offer a stark instance of this reality.

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