The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rachel Bitecofer’s Alternate Reality

(Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

Twitter users know how much utter nonsense can be crammed into 280 characters. Even those intimately familiar with the human capacity for self-destruction on the social-media website might be taken aback by this doozy from self-styled elections analyst and “badass data girl” Rachel Bitecofer, though.

Bitecofer responds to the reasonable question asked by New York state senate minority leader Rob Ortt in National Review by asking questions about two different governors — Florida’s Ron DeSantis and California’s Gavin Newsom. From the jump, then, her discomfort with the subject at hand is manifest.

Since Senator Ortt has already prosecuted the case against Cuomo, let’s indulge Bitecofer’s questions. DeSantis is the governor of the third most-populous state in the country — one with a disproportionately elderly population that should render his state particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Yet Florida has recorded only the 25th-most deaths per capita since the start of the pandemic while outpacing the rest of the country economically — posting a five percent unemployment rate as compared to the 5.9 percent national average. Polling allows DeSantis to boast not only a 64 percent overall approval rating, but an above-water mark with Democrats.

Newsom’s state has performed slightly better in the mark of COVID deaths per capita, but California is floundering economically. With an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, it ranks the 46th in the country — so by no means “the best.” Moreover, Newsom has fallen short on a number of other fronts. His tenure in the governor’s mansion has been plagued by poor forest management (no minor issue in the Golden State), an escalating homelessness crisis, and a failure to follow his own pandemic-related rules.

These failures have resulted in broad-based disapproval of Newsom —  47 percent of Californians favor his removal while only a quarter of the state’s registered voters are registered Republicans—  and a recall effort allowed for by the state’s constitution. It fits the definition of “partisan witch hunt” by neither form, nor political reality.

Bitecofer, it would seem, fits the definition of “badass data girl” by neither purpose, nor prowess.

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