Coronavirus surging in Trump-loving counties as states reopen: analysis
Trump supporters waiting for the arrival of President Donald J. Trump on Thursday 01/30/2020 at his Keep America Great Again rally in Des Moines, Iowa. (

The coronavirus pandemic is raging through counties that voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Counties with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases for the past four weeks were more likely to have backed Trump over Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election, reported the Brookings Institute.

The virus has been spreading southward and westward from the northeast since the end of March, and counties with new high prevalence of cases -- that is, at least 100 cases per 100,000 people -- are much less urban and racially diverse.

Among those counties, Trump won 151 compared to 25 that backed Clinton, and they favored the former reality TV star by a 12-percent margin.

The think tank also found that 80 of the counties with a high number of cases last week were in the South, while 68 were in the midwest, and 159 of the 176 newly identified high-prevalence counties are located in outer suburbs, small metropolitan areas or outside of metropolitan areas.

Of course, the number of new cases will rise as states conduct more testing, which can give a false impression of worsening outbreaks.

But some of the states with a high number of new cases -- including Arkansas, North Carolina and North Dakota, all of which backed Trump in 2016 -- also showed a high percentage of positive results among all coronavirus tests.

In the seven weeks between March 29 and May 17, the Brookings Institute found the share of the U.S. population living in high-prevalence counties jumped from 8 percent to 79 percent.