Showing posts with label 2020 Election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2020 Election. Show all posts

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Manchin's Political Decisions Have Real Impacts on Real People

Many progressives were disappointed in Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-WVa) no vote on the build back better act.  This is about more than merely scoring political points or infrastructure.  This is about programs like the expanded child care tax credit which gives assistance to low income parents like my friend Jennina Rose Gorman.  She was interviewed by MSNBC's Katy Tur which can be seen above.

A Facebook image from a MAGA friend

Does Senator Manchin realize the impact of his policies?  He drives a Maserati and has a yacht on the Potomac River.  His state (West Virginia) is one of the poorest in the union.  If any state needs built back better his does.  The same question should be asked of the state's other Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WVa) who is also a certain no vote on the bill.  

It's true that Trump won the state with 68.6% of the vote.  He carried every county in the state.  It used to be a reliable Democratic state but like Cambria County in PA has now flipped.  The challenge is now to get them to vote in favor of their self interest again.  This March, I will be presenting Appalachian Studies Association's annual conference in Morgantown on how to use County Health Rankings to gauge the health of your area.  Hope to see you there.  Buon Natale a` tutti.

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African Americans Still Lag Behind in Life Expectancy in Cambria County

Income and Life Expectancy. What does it Tell Us About US?

Friday, December 10, 2021

PA Health Behavior Measures Correlate More with Trump % of the vote than with COVID Case Mortality


Last week I posted on COVID Case Mortality and County Health Ranking (CHR) measures.  I also posted that there was a stronger correlation between the health behaviors and Trump's % of the vote than with COVID case mortality.  This week I will look at which individual county statistics used by CHR are the best predictors of Trump's % of the vote.

Thirty-one out of the 48 county health rankings statistics were significantly correlated with Trump's % of the vote in the 67 Pennsylvania Counties.  The variable with the strongest univariate correlation was the % of the population who were smokers in each county.  This relationship accounted for 54% of the variability in Trump's vote in 2020. This relationship can be seen in the graph above.  Philadelphia is an outlier in this model.

Trump % of the vote = 38.29 + 2.03*(% Smokers) - 0.24*(% access to exercise) +                  0.55*(Social Assn) - 0.03*(Chlamydia) - 2.16*(Housing problems)

For the other county level statistics, I entered the variables with the strongest correlations into a multiple regression model.  Variables that were significant were kept into the model.  Five variables were settled on accounting for 91.9% of the variability in Trump's vote.  The model is summarized in the equation above in italics.  

The 38.29 value is the predicted value for Trump's vote % in PA if all of the predictor variables have a value of zero.  Percent smokers has a regression coefficient of 2.03.  This means that for every 1% increase in the percent of smokers, there is a predicted 2.03% increase in Trump's vote.  The other predictor variables will be summarized below.

The univariate relationship between the % of the county with easy access to exercise opportunities and Trump's vote is presented in the above graph.  In the multiple model there is a predicted decrease of 0.24% in Trump's vote for every 1% increase in access to exercise opportunities.  Philadelphia county is less of an outlier in this model.  Univariately, this relationship accounts for 45.1% of the variability in Trump's vote.

The rate of the number of social membership organizations per 100,000 for each PA county is compared to Trump's % of the vote in the graph above.  In the multiple regression model, there is a predicted 0.55% increase in Trump's vote for each unit increase in the social association rate.  Univariately, this relationship accounts for 42.6% of the variability in Trump's vote.  Dauphin County is an outlier for this relationship with a relatively high social association rate 18.5/100,000 but only 45% of the vote for Trump.

The rate of chlamydia per 100,000 for each PA county is negatively associated with with Trump's % of the vote accounting for 47% of the variance.  In the multiple regression model, for every unit increase in the chlamydia rate, there is a predicted 0.03% decrease in Trump's vote.  Philadelphia county is an influential county for this relationship but not an outlier.

The last variable in the model is the % of the county with housing problems for each county.  In the multiple regression model, for every 1% increase in this variable, there is a predicted 2.16% decrease in Trump's % of the vote.  Univariately, housing problems account for 48.2% of the variability in Trump's vote. Bedford County may be an outlier.  

These five variables account for 91.9% of the variance in Trump's vote when combined in a multiple regression model.  One should always be careful about assuming a cause and effect relationship between variables that are correlated.  There are always potential unknown variables which can explain this relationship.  These variables were the most robust when entered into the model and do not have a strong association with each other.  The five variables in this model can be ruled out as alternative explanations for each other.


Some have asked me about the correlation coefficients for the univariate relationships in this model.  If one takes the square root of the r-squared statistic for % smokers (0.5452) we get a correlation coefficient 0.738  which is much stronger than any of the correlations for COVID case mortality.  For access to exercise opportunities the coefficient is -0.671.  For social association rates, it is 0.673.  For chlamydia rate, it is -0.685.  For housing problems, it is 0.694.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Hate Groups do not Predict Trump % in 2020. It did in 2016

The Southern Poverty Law Center has come out with it's 2020 hate map showing the concentration of hate groups in the US as seen above.  The total number of groups that they follow nationally went down in 2020 to 838 from 940 in 2019.  The high point for hate groups during the Trump years was 2018 with 1,020.  You can see my summary of the numbers here

As before, I adjusted the number of hate groups in each state and expressed it as hate groups per million and correlated it with Trump's support in that state for that year.  As in previous years, the District of Columbia led the nation with 26.9 groups per million but he only received 5.4% of the vote in that state so it was excluded from the above graph.  Montana had the highest hate group rate at 5.61 per million.  New Mexico had the lowest at 0.48 per million.  Pennsylvania's raw number of hate groups was unchanged at 36 from 2019.

The above graph shows a weak positive correlation for Hate Group concentration in 2020 and Trump's % of the vote in last year's election accounting for 5.6% of the variability in his vote.  In 2016, hate group concentration accounted for 20.1% of the variability in his vote that year.  This correlation was almost twice as strong in 2016.  The weaker correlation could be due to greater minority mobilization in 2020.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Where do We Stand in 2021?

Happy New Year all.  I started writing this post last night as the numbers were trickling in from the Georgia runoffs last night.  I am surprised as anyone about the events of today.  I admit to finding it frightening that Trump's supporters would resort to occupying the U.S. capitol building.  We knew that this was a possibility as Trump refused to accept the results of the election.  WJAC-TV reports that over 500 people from Cambria, Blair, Somerset, and Bedford counties went to the rally.  The chair of the Cambria County Republican Party, Jackie Kulback, says that they left before the violence began.  Even if it were a peaceful protest they likely were exposed to COVID-19 and brought it back to their homes.

Since the election that Biden won, Trump's approval rating hardly changed from 45.9% to 44.1% today.  How sad it would be if they hardly change after today's events.  It would take about 4 day to a week before we know what impact it has had on his approval ratings.

Warnock and Ossoff have won their Senate races.  This means that the Democrats will technically be in control of the Senate and the House of Representatives once Biden and Harris take office on January 20.  The 50-50 split in the Senate (with Harris as the tiebreaking vote) gives the Democrats more leverage but the Republicans, with Mitch McConnell's leadership, still have the filibuster.  They can use it to block any meaningful legislation with only 40 votes.  

In 2013 McConnell used the filibuster to block a bill banning the use of assault rifles in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting in which 26 people were killed.  The Democrats had a 54-46 majority at the time and the bill had strong support of the families in Newtown but it didn't matter.  There have 56 mass shootings in the US since then with 445 fatalities according to Mother Jones magazine.

Joe Biden will try to be a return to normalcy President.  Trumpism is unlikely to disappear entirely as it was present before he took office.  Trump's niece Mary says it best:

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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Mortality in Cambria County: Our Luck Has Run Out Thanks to Trump

I'm back to posting about the coronavirus.  At the beginning of November, I posted on how mortality was surging in Blair and Westmoreland Counties which are to the west and east of Cambria County respectively.  While deaths a still rising in those counties, Cambria County has eclipsed them both since Trump came here on October 13.

Before October 13 there were 7 total deaths in the county.  On October 13 Trump came to the Johnstown area airport to campaign for his reelection.  The red dot on the blue line in the chart shows the date of the rally.

As of this date, the cases have now risen to 103, a net increase of 96 deaths.  Thirty five of these deaths have occurred in the last 3 days. The 7day average for new cases in the county was 15.43 new cases per day on October 13.  Today's average was 186.86 per day.

The first reported deaths after the rally were on October 28th.  The cumulative case mortality (the number of deaths has increased from 0.64% on the 28th to 1.80% today.  This is an indication that deaths have risen faster than the cases.  The graph shows that the case mortality rates for Pennsylvania and the US have decreased over the same period.  The decrease was from 2.58% to 1.93% for the U.S. and from 4.34% to 2.70% for Pennsylvania.  For the U.S. and the state, the number of deaths has not risen faster than the number of cases.

This graph from the state Department of Health's shows the increase in the number of cases hospitalized in the county.  The large bend in the curve occurred on October 30 when there were 18 cases hospitalized and has increased exponentially ever since to 86 cases today.  

The second graph above from the state Department of Health website shows the trend in the number of cases on a ventilator. Over the same period there were three cases on a ventilator on October 30.  Today there are eight cases on a ventilator in the county.

Cases have likewise increased in the county in nursing homes (or long term care facilities), in the county jail and in the federal prison in Loretto, PA.  There 97 cases in nursing homes on Oct. 30.  Currently there are 643 in 28 facilities with 38 reported deaths or 37% of the total deaths.  At the federal prison in Loretto, there were 8 active cases on Oct 30.  Currently there are 189.  I have no daily numbers at the county jail in Ebensburg.  

Contact tracing is needed to definitively establish a link between the Trump rally and the rise in cases and deaths in Cambria County.  However it is hard to disprove a link between the two events.  A week after the election the county republican party chartered a bus to the million MAGA march in Washington DC.  Just what we needed, another super spreader event where people can bring back the virus to their communities.  It has been shown that counties that voted heavily for Trump have the worst virus surges.


WJAC now reports that Cambria County now has the third highest positive test rate in the U.S.  I have the cumulative rate at 14.65% which is higher than the state rate which is 12.54% and the U.S. rate which is at  7.21%.  A rising positive rate suggests that there are more cases to find than are being tested for.  The news report can be seen here.

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Friday, November 20, 2020

The Kardashians of Cambria County


Ha ha ha!  Made you look.  There are no Kardashians in Cambria County that I know of.  Do you?

I could make this post about how mortality in Cambria County from COVID-19 has been skyrocketing this month (25 deaths since October 28).  However I thought I would comment on how I had to battle fluff in this county and what happens when what I post challenges the conventional wisdom.

Eleven days ago I posted on how Joe Biden won the city of Johnstown by 80 votes. I thought I would share some of the comments that I received on Facebook on that post.  The names are deleted out of respect.

"I can honestly believe that because the poll workers downtown were shady. They actually said who we were and what political party we were for." 

"PA and Arizona have just pulled the win from Joe and Michigan is right behind . Joe is as of now down to 259 electoral vote and NO LONGER THE PROJECTED WINNER."

"Well seeing there is a lot of freeloaders in Johnstown I’m not surprised." 

"Fake News."

"He won Philly by more than that . So what ?" 

"Bozo Joe didn’t win Johnstown Trump took Cambria County."

"82 out of 74 democrats voted for Biden."

"There ain't no way."

"(Name deleted)...excuse you read something watch the waters the democrats or about to go down in history as the most corrupt party joe biden has just become a suspect of treason in another country so like I said watch the water"

"Prolly had under age or dead people lol."

"I would think that is another johnstown, not pa."

I wonder how many of them actually read my post?

Also about my book, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association has refused to sell my book.  They said that because I discussed the statistics surrounding the abuse of children by Catholic Priests and crime statistics which include sexual assault that it was too explicit for children.  I would argue that their holocaust exhibit is more explicit.  I am waiting for an answer on whether the Johnstown National Flood Memorial will sell my book.  The book has been selling at other places such as Classic Elements, Young Hearts Books and Toys, Chameleon BookstoreSecond Chapter Books in Ligonier and at Made in Somerset County.  I will be having a book signing at AT Merchant on December 5 from noon to 3PM in the Galleria Mall in Johnstown.  Finally you can read an Our Town article on my book here.

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Joe Biden won Johnstown by 80 votes

Biden in Johnstown

Four years ago Donald Trump won Cambria County with 66.8% of the vote.  This year he won the county with 67.9%.  Many observers were shocked that he won by such a large margin.  However when one looks at individual precincts a more complex pattern can emerge.  

In 2017, looked at the precinct data for Johnstown and found that Hillary Clinton won the 20 precincts of the city by 83 votes.  This year I took another look at the precincts in the city and found that Biden won the city again by 80 votes.













Cambria City









Center Town









18th ward









8th ward 1









8th ward 3


















19th ward









Old Conemaugh


















7th ward









21st ward









17th ward 1









17th ward 2









17th ward 3









17th ward 4









20th ward 1









20th Ward 2


















This year there were 17 precincts in the city whereas there were 20 in the city four years ago.  Biden won 7 out of the 17 precincts (highlighted in yellow).  Hillary Clinton won 11 of the 20 precincts.  

When the votes are totaled across the city, Biden won the city by 80 votes out of the 7,042 cast or 1.1%.  This margin is slightly smaller than the margin that Clinton won by (83 out of 6,438 cast or 1.3%).  Biden largest margin was in the seventh ward in terms of the number of votes (124) while for Trump it was in 8th ward number three (132).  Clinton likewise won the 7th ward at 166 while Percentagewise, Biden's best result was in Prospect at 78.9% (it was for Clinton as well at 82.1%) while for Trump it was in the 21st ward at 61.8% (in 2016 he won the 21st with 61.5%).  

There were 118 (1,7% of the total) third party and write ins in the city this year while in 2016 there were 281 in the city (4.4% of the total).  In 2016 there were three third party candidates on the ballot (Green, Constitutional, Libertarian).  This year there was one (Libertarian).

Six hundred and four more people voted this year than in 2016.  The margins in the Trump precincts were closer than in Biden's. The large margins in Biden's precincts were large enough to offset those in the more numerous precincts for Trump.  This city is just as divided as the nation.

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