Last week, The New York Times released the results of its latest poll of American attitudes toward COVID, which contained a fascinating partisan fact: More Americans approved of the Democratic response to the pandemic than the Republican response, and it’s not close. Only 32 percent of Americans say they supported the Republican response more than the Democratic response, while Democrats enjoyed the support of 45 percent.

In a closely divided country, that’s a large gap, and when you dive into the numbers, you see that the gap is substantially driven by older voters. Americans 65 and over believe the Democrats handled the pandemic better than Republicans by a 53 to 33 margin. This margin is particularly notable because you can’t ascribe it to background partisan bias.

Young voters, for instance, overwhelmingly supported the Democratic response to COVID (by the same 20-point margin as older voters), but they tend to be Democrats. Biden won that age cohort in 2020 by a similar margin. Older voters, however, lean Republican. Donald Trump won their votes 52–47.

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