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Here Are All The States Where Coronavirus Cases Are Spiking – Forbes

TOPLINE

Some states are seeing a dramatic surge in new coronavirus infections even as reopening measures continue across the country, raising tough questions about whether those reopening efforts were premature and how officials will balance maintaining public safety with preventing more economic damage.  

Miami-Dade Beaches Reopen After Being Closed For Coronavirus Pandemic

Beachgoers take advantage of the opening of South Beach on June 10, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.


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KEY FACTS

Texas and Florida—two of the first states to reopen—both hit new daily highs last week. 

California also hit a record daily high last week, though one official attributed the spike to increased testing (Florida’s governor has also attributed his state’s spike to more testing).

Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Alaska have also seen surging case numbers over the last week. 

On Friday, the CDC released new forecasts that singled out six states—Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah and Vermont—where the coronavirus death toll is likely to rise over the next month. 

Some states and cities have walked back reopening measures in response to surging cases: Oregon’s governor put the reopening process on pause on Friday after the state saw its highest level of new cases since the start of the pandemic; Utah’s governor issued a similar order, as did the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee. 

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins, more than 2 million Americans have contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 114,000 have died. 

Key background

Even though news of states hitting record levels of coronavirus cases day after day might make it seem like the U.S. is headed for a second wave of the virus, the country is still situated very firmly within the “first wave.” New infections peaked around 36,000 cases a day in April, according to New York Times data, and over the last month the number of new daily cases has held relatively steady around 20,000. Cases in former hot spots like New York and New Jersey have fallen dramatically while cases in many areas of the South and West continue to rise. For a true “second wave” of the virus to be possible, the virus would need to subside and then reappear. 

Crucial quote

“We really never quite finished the first wave,” Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor of global health at Harvard University, told NPR. “And it doesn’t look like we are going to anytime soon.”

Further reading

Some Austin Restaurants Shut Down Again After Staffers Catch Coronavirus (Forbes)

Florida Breaks Record For New Coronavirus Cases (Forbes)

Texas Shatters Record For New Coronavirus Cases (Forbes)

Dallas County Reporting New Highs In Coronavirus Cases And Deaths, Report Says (Forbes)

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Biden Where

Where Biden, Trump stand in key swing states | TheHill – The Hill

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOn The Money: Jobless rate exceeds 20 percent in three states | Senate goes on break without passing small business loan fix | Biden pledges to not raise taxes on those making under 0K Trump to attend SpaceX launch in Florida Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers demand answers on Chinese COVID hacks | Biden re-ups criticism of Amazon | House Dem bill seeks to limit microtargeting MORE leads President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: The Hill’s interview with Anthony Fauci Trump’s routing number revealed as press secretary announces he’s donating quarterly salary to HHS: report Former White House aide won M contract to supply masks amid pandemic MORE in national polling but the race is closer in the key battleground states that will determine who wins the White House.

Here’s a look at where the race stands in six swing states that will have an outsized impact on the November election.

Arizona

The Biden campaign says this traditionally red state, which has only voted for the Democratic presidential nominee once in the past 70 years, is up for grabs in 2020.

The polling bears that out.

Biden leads Trump by 4 points in the RealClearPolitics average. He’s led by between 1 point and 9 points in every survey conducted since March. The most recent OH Predictive Insights Poll found Biden ahead by 7 points.

The former vice president is outperforming Trump on the strength of his support among independents and older voters. Both groups broke for Trump in 2016.

And suburban voters – particularly women and white people with a college education – have continued their drift toward Democrats, helping to elect Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who in 2018 became the first Democrat to represent Arizona in the upper chamber since 1995.

Democrat Mark Kelly appears to be on a glide path to joining Sinema in the Senate, as he leads Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyAbrams announces endorsements in 7 Senate races Why Trump, GOP are running into trouble in Arizona Trump campaign says it is gaining black and Hispanic supporters MORE (R-Ariz.) by 13 points in the OHPI poll. That survey found Kelly opening up an 18 point lead over McSally in Maricopa County, which surrounds Phoenix and is the key to statewide victory in Arizona.

Republicans aren’t panicking yet, believing that Trump is dragged down at the moment by the coronavirus and the economic shutdown, and that the polls are capturing him at his low point.

They believe Arizona will come home to Republicans as it usually does in November. But nonpartisan analysts agree  – the Grand Canyon State is a pure toss-up in 2020.

Florida

The perennial swing state went for Trump by only 1 point in 2016 and all signs point to another photo finish in the battleground state with the most Electoral College votes up for grabs.

Biden has a narrow edge in the RealClearPolitics average, leading by 3.3 points, but recent surveys show the race is within the margin of error and the underlying data points toward a contest that could go either way.

While Trump’s job approval rating has fallen nationally amid the coronavirus pandemic, most Florida polls show him holding steady near his high point, with a Fox News poll showing him in positive territory, at 51 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove. That poll also found Biden ahead 46 percent to 43 percent.

Biden leads Trump among independents in the state by between 2 points and 11 points in three recent surveys that all found the former vice president with a narrow lead.

The Fox News poll found that Trump has big leads among conservatives, whites without a college education and white voters overall – but his margins are smaller with all of these groups than they were in 2016.

Biden, meanwhile, is running up the score among women, Latinos and independents in the poll. He’s over-performing 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe big tent: Unifying America National popular vote would not diminish politics in presidential decisions Hillary Clinton: Trump ‘needs to stop playing a doctor on TV’ MORE among women and independents but he’s underperforming among Hispanics. 

The race may hinge on which direction older people break. A St. Pete Poll that found Trump and Biden tied also found them running neck-and-neck among voters over the age of 50.

Michigan

In 2016, Trump unexpectedly turned Michigan red for the first time in a presidential contest since 1988.

But Trump only carried the Wolverine State by about 10,000 votes and he faces a difficult challenge there in 2020, as four polls released this month find him trailing by between 3 points and 9 points.

The Hodas Research poll that found Biden ahead by 9 points put Trump’s favorability rating deep underwater, at 39 percent positive and 56 percent negative.

Democrats see an opportunity in third party voters and people who didn’t vote in 2016. Trump won the state by 0.2 points, with 4.7 percent having voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonAmash decides against Libertarian campaign for president The Hill’s Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid Amash launches exploratory committee for Libertarian presidential run MORE or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

A recent Change Research survey that found Biden leading Trump by 3 points in Michigan ascribed half of that advantage to former Johnson or Stein voters, or to those who sat out in 2016 but said they would vote in 2020.

Michigan has been hit hard by the coronavirus but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), a potential running mate for Biden, is far outpacing Trump when it comes to job approval around the pandemic.

A poll from left-leaning Public Policy Polling put Whitmer’s job approval on the virus at 17 points positive, compared to 9 points negative for Trump.

North Carolina

Trump is performing better in the Tarheel State than any of the other five battlegrounds, but he still only leads Biden by 1 point in the RealClearPolitics average. Trump won North Carolina by 3.5 points in 2016.

Polling is sparse – there has only been one survey released this month.

The East Carolina University poll found Trump leading Biden by 3 points.

The president’s job approval rating is higher in North Carolina than in other parts of the country, with ECU putting him at 48 positive and 47 percent negative. A Civitas-Harper survey from early April that found Trump ahead by 7 points found his job approval rating at 52 percent.

However, a WRAL-Survey USA poll from late April found Biden ahead of Trump by 5 points in North Carolina. The former vice president crushes Trump in the poll by more than 25 points on the question of who is best equipped to deal with the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania

The Keystone State went narrowly for Trump in 2016 after going for the Democratic presidential candidate in every prior race dating back to 1988.

Biden, who was born in Scranton and feels a kinship to the blue collar workers there, has a wider lead in Pennsylvania than in any other battleground. He leads by 6.5 points in the RealClearPolitics average.

A recent Fox News poll that found Biden leading by 8 points underscores Trump’s challenge.

The president won white voters without a college degree by 31 points in Pennsylvania in 2016. He leads by only 8 points in the Fox News poll.

Biden, meanwhile, is mopping up among women, nonwhite voters and those over the age of 65. Biden leads by a stunning 19 points among older voters in the Fox News poll.

A Susquehanna Polling & Research survey that found Biden ahead by 6 points also found Trump and Biden running even in central Pennsylvania – the rural area between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that drove Trump’s 2016 victory.

Wisconsin

Democrats view Wisconsin, with its predominantly white electorate, as the least likely of the “blue wall” states to return to their column in 2020.

But polling shows Biden holding a small but consistent lead in the state. He leads Trump by 2.7 points in the RealClearPolitics average.

There has only been one poll conducted in Wisconsin over the past two months.

The Marquette University survey found Biden ahead by 3 points – within the margin of error.

Fifty-four percent approve of Trump’s handling of the economy. But only 44 percent approve of his handling of the coronavirus, while 64 percent approve of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) handling of the pandemic.

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