ByKevin Sheekey

Covid-19 Today: State Positivity Rates Remain Alarmingly High Across U.S.

US state positivity graph

New York State has now gone seven weeks with a Coronavirus positivity rate of 1.0% or less as dozens of states around the country continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks.

Currently Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Oklahoma are the U.S. states with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases over the past week, when adjusted for population. All but one of those states has a rate above 9.0%.


Fresh Air Fund’s Summer ‘Unlike Any Other.’

In the latest Follow the Data podcastFatima Shama, the Executive Director of the Fresh Air Fund, joined Megan Sheekey, who leads strategic partnerships at Bloomberg Associates, to discuss how the Fresh Air Fund provided safe spaces to kids in New York City during a summer unlike any other. 

“The very neighborhoods in which we serve kids were the epicenters of Covid,” Shama says. “Dance parties, musical cones, ballet, book groups, art projects — it made the summer come alive. I’ve never seen more Hula Hoops used in more creative ways.”


Your Need to Know on Voting.

November 3 is quickly approaching.

Be prepared and know how to vote by checking out NBC News’ ‘Plan Your Vote’ resource here.

More Data: SCOTUS Ad Wars Begin

Justice Ginsburg’s death was announced Friday evening.

Before midnight, paid ads were already running in the fight over her seat.

And those ads worked. ActBlue reported more than $100 million raised between Friday night and Sunday morning, including new records for the most raised on a given day and in a single hour ($70.6 million and $6.3 million, respectively). While many of those donations surely came from organic interest, campaigns used an array of digital tactics — from email solicitations to paid ads — to reach potential donors.

The Trump campaign has spent between $79,000 and $95,000 to run 410 ads about the Supreme Court vacancy since Friday. The Biden campaign spent between $42,000 and $48,000 to run 114 ads. Trump is even selling “Fill That Seat” t-shirts.

It’s not just the presidential candidates. The lawmaker at the center of the nominating process, Sen. Mitch McConnell, is running fundraising ads filled with exclamation marks and the promise of a 5x match. Other Senate races — perhaps spurred by the chamber’s role of “advice and consent” — also quickly launched acquisition ads.

Some candidates who are out-of-cycle or have non-competitive races also went up with list-building ads. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) asked for 10,000 signatures. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) wanted 20,000. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) topped them both by asking for 25,000!

Even some members of the House — who do not vote on Supreme Court nominees — nonetheless put up donation ads to, as Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) put it, “ensure a conservative voice on the Supreme Court.”

While these are the first ads for this Supreme Court vacancy, they certainly won’t be the last. The last vacancy generated more than $10 million in TV spending and around 50,000 ads on Facebook alone.

–Election 2020 analysis is from the new More Data political newsletter, written by James Owens from Hawkfish.  Sign up here






Best of Late Night: From the Emmys.

The best lines from the Emmys virtual broadcast on Sunday, which was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel from a stage in an empty Staples Center in Los Angeles:

“This is the year they decide they have to have a host?”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“You know what they say: You can’t have a virus without a host.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“The most nominated show of the year is ‘Watchmen,’ with 26 nominations. ‘Watchmen’ is a superhero show, but it also feels really real. It is a very realistic show, except the part where anyone in Oklahoma is wearing a mask.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“If you win, a guy will drive to your house and chuck an Emmy through your window.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“Just think about having a Zoom call with your family and how complicated it is to get your grandma to look at the camera, get her whole face on camera, and multiply that by a million. That’s what we’re dealing with here.”
— Jimmy Kimmel


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I’m always searching for the stories that shine a light on – and offer solutions to – some of the most pressing issues of our time. I started my daily email to capture and share the stories I think are important. Subscribe here to get the Sheekey Daily Read in your inbox each day.
– Kevin Sheekey