Partisan Pandemic: How Partisanship and Public Health Concerns Affect Individuals’ Social Distancing During COVID-19
32 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020 Last revised: 9 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 9, 2020
Rampant partisanship in the United States may be the largest obstacle to the social distancing most experts see as critical to limiting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyzing a total of nearly 500,000 responses collected daily between Mar 4 and June 6 reveals not only that partisanship is more important than public health concerns for explaining individuals’ social distancing, but also that the effect of partisanship has grown over time – especially among Republicans. All else equal, the relative importance of partisanship for the increasing (un)willingness of Republicans to engage in social distancing highlights the challenge that politics poses for public health.
Keywords: COVID-19, Public Health, Political Behavior, Partisanship
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