David H. Montgomery Profile picture
Data journalism w/@MPRnews. History podcaster @thesiecle. Good-faith inquiry in pursuit of ever-improving understanding. RTs != endorsements.
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26 Mar
1/ So yesterday #mnleg Rep. @jeremymunson rolled out a proposal that western Minnesota should secede and join South Dakota. It’s not going to happen, but I’m a nerd, and instead of doing the dishes last night spent hours doin' math & makin’ graphics. mprnews.org/story/2021/03/…
@jeremymunson 2/ First, the basics: the 64 MN counties @jeremymunson proposes to secede have around 1.6M people. That means that South Dakota would actually be the junior partner in this merger, with fewer than 900K residents.

The denser non-seceding MN counties have just under 4M people.
3/ The seceding counties (“ex-Minnesota”) have a per-capita GDP of around $51K/person. That's poorer than either Old SD ($63K/person) or the counties that wouldn’t secede in this scenario (a whopping $76K/person).
Read 20 tweets
26 Mar
Minnesota is expanding #COVID19 vaccine eligibility next week to all adults, in anticipation of a big increase in vaccine supply. So far, MN’s been trucking along giving 40K total doses/24K first doses per day. This will likely rise, a lot, in the next week or two.
The Minnesota groups that are becoming vaccine-eligible next week number number about 1.15M people. While everyone’s eligible, some providers may still prioritize people with more risk or more essential jobs for their limited vaccine supply.
About 80% of Minnesota seniors, 1/3 of Minnesotans 50-64, 20% of adults 18-49, and a small share of 16- and 17-year-olds have at least one dose.
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
16 newly reported #COVID19 deaths in Minnesota today, the highest in two weeks. This includes what looks like a cluster of 4 elderly Lac Qui Parle County residents.

Never overreact to any one day of data, of course. The weekly average is up to 7.5 deaths/day.
New #COVID19 cases are still rising up to an average of nearly 1,300 per day, compared to 850/day two weeks ago.
But the past two weeks have seen a rise in testing, too — perhaps back-to-school, perhaps more people with symptoms or known exposure seeking out tests. This is probably contributing a little bit to the rise in cases (but only at the margins).
Read 8 tweets
24 Mar
Minnesota’s vaccination rate remains flat at around 40,000 doses per day, but there’s good news under the hood, as the number of people with 1+ dose is trending upward — it’s just counterbalanced by a decline in people getting 2nd doses (largely deteremined 3-4 weeks ago). ImageImage
As a result, with MN now giving around 24K first doses per day, the target date for vaccinating most adults is moving up to mid-June.

And we have reason to expect a huge supply increase in the next week that will move this up even faster. Image
The vaccination rate continues to plummet for seniors (who may be close to maxed out in most parts of MN) while it’s rising for younger Minnesotans. Image
Read 7 tweets
22 Feb
Newly reported #COVID19 vaccine doses in MN dropped only slightly week-over-week today. BUT beneath these totals, amid supply disruptions cancelling vaccine appointments, *first doses* are plummeting, offset by second doses still rising.
MN has been administering far more doses than it’s received over the past week. Still no sign of overall doses meaningfully declining.
Deaths, positivity rate and cases are all pretty much flat in Minnesota, week-over-week:
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb
Newly administered #COVID19 vaccine doses in Minnesota are flat again today. No drop YET from recent disrupted supply. BUT more and more of doses administered have been *second shots*, with first doses declining steadily the past few days.
When I say “disrupted supply,” this is what I mean. (The polar vortex has wreaked havoc on supply.)
Around 13% of Minnesotans have received at least one #COVID19 vaccine dose, including nearly 40% of seniors.
Read 4 tweets
20 Feb
Another decent day of newly reported #COVID19 vaccinations, but basically flat week-over-week. More significant that we’re still not seeing the expected drop due to polar vortex supply issues. Could still be coming, though!
One wringle, though: new FIRST DOSES have been pretty flat for weeks now, averaging about 15K new 1st doses per day. The past week’s increases in doses administered have been driven by a rise in people getting their second doses. So this is just an echo of the late-Jan. spike.
Newly reported #COVID19 deaths ticked slightly upward today — 11 reported today, against 7 last Saturday — but the trend is still lower than any time in the last 5 months except for yesterday.
Read 7 tweets
19 Feb
A pretty good day for newly reported #COVID19 vaccinations in Minnesota, as Minnesota crosses the 1 million doses-given threshold, while the daily average gets back up to 30K/day, almost where we were in late January. Image
Despite the improvement, at this pace MN would only be able to vaccinate about 80% of adults by sometime in September. To get done by summer, MN needs to be doing 40K or 50K shots per day, or more. Image
No sign YET of a falloff in vaccine pace due to the supply delays caused by winter weather this week. At least some dip is probably coming in the days to come — we just might not be seeing it yet due to reporting lags. Image
Read 7 tweets
19 Feb
For @MPRnews, @gundersondan looks at Mahnomen County, which has vaccinated 85% of residents 65+, & more than 30% of people 16-65, both among the best in MN. It’s due to collaboration by @mnhealth & the White Earth Nation, whose borders encompass Mahnomen: mprnews.org/story/2021/02/…
@MPRnews @gundersondan @mnhealth Mahnomen really stands out when you plot out the data, along with Cook County (the state’s highest vaccination rate) and Olmsted County (where Mayo Clinic-based health workers have unsurprisingly led to a high rate of under-65 vaccination): Image
@MPRnews @gundersondan @mnhealth The map of the ratio between vaccinated seniors and vaccinated non-seniors in MN counties falls into that subgenre of maps I like to call, “Maps that really just show where the Mayo Clinic is”: Image
Read 6 tweets
27 Jan
Today is another good news day for MN’s #COVID19 stats. Most strikingly, more than 22,000 newly reported vaccinations, against fewer than *1,000* last Wednesday.

Minnesota’s weekly average vaccination pace is up to nearly 20,000 per day, nearly double where it was 6 days ago. Image
Now, 20,000 doses per day is not nearly enough. At this rate it’d take a full calendary year, until January 2022, to vaccinate 80% of MN adults. BUT Minnesota is finally moving in the right direction on this metric. Image
Meanwhile, all the metrics tracking the pandemic’s progress in Minnesota are also headed in the right direction. For example, there were 18 newly reported #COVID19 deaths today, vs. 34 last Wednesday and 50 the week before that. Average is down to 21 deaths/day and falling. Image
Read 9 tweets
26 Jan
The biggest news out of today’s #COVID19 data is a rise in administered vaccine doses of more than 17,000.

Last Tuesday had fewer than 6,000 newly reported doses.

Minnesota is in the midst of its first sustained and significant rise in COVID vaccination pace to date.
Lots of vaccine providers are still not meeting the state’s 90% threshold, but remember this is a 7-day average — if a provider turned things around today, it could take a while for this stat to catch up.

I’ll track this as a time series once we have more days of data.
Newly reported #COVID19 deaths are essentially flat week-over-week, but that’s not a big deal — Tuesday data is always weird, and hard to draw solid conclusions from. The long-term trend is still continued improvement.
Read 5 tweets
25 Jan
Just 3 newly reported #COVID19 deaths in Minnesota today. It’s only the 26th time since MN’s first COVID death that 3 or fewer deaths were reported, though 14 of those times were on Mondays, which typically have low reporting levels.

The 7-day average is down to 23 deaths/day. Image
Minnesota’s #COVID19 deaths are down both in and out of long-term care facilities, but we’re not YET seeing a disproportionate plunge in LTC deaths as a result of vaccinations. ImageImage
Newly reported cases continue to decline, but at a slowing rate. The 7-day average is now just over 1,200 new cases per day. It’s possible MN’s case volume is bottoming out. Image
Read 6 tweets
22 Jan
Minnesota reported 21 #COVID19 deaths today. That’s the lowest figure on a Friday since the 18 reported on Oct. 30. Just two Fridays ago, Minnesota reported 48 #COVID19 deaths.
Cases and positivity rate have also been trending down:
It looks like #COVID19 ICU admissions in Minnesota might have bottomed out at around 10 per day. That’s about where Minnesota was at for about 4 months earlier this year, from early June through late September.
Read 7 tweets
21 Jan
As of today, Minnesota has reported more than 6,000 #COVID19 deaths.
Tomorrow, January will probably pass May as Minnesota's third-deadliest month of the pandemic so far. But we’ve fallen behind the pace of deaths in November (when deaths were rising, not falling as they are now):
Minnesota has averaged about 28 #COVID19 deaths per day over the past week. That compares to an average of 35 deaths/day last Thursday.

For context, on Nov. 1, MN was averaging 18 COVID deaths/day. On Oct. 1, 9/day.
Read 11 tweets
20 Jan
Alright, America has a new president, but #COVID19 stats keep on coming, and so do the graphs.
Minnesota reported 34 additional #COVID19 deaths today. That’s down from 50 last Wednesday (but possibly is nudged down by the holiday Monday). The 7-day average is down to 29 deaths per day — the first time Minnesota has averaged fewer than 30 COVID deaths per day since Nov. 10. Image
An extra 1,237 newly reported cases is down from 1,504 last Wednesday. The 7-day average is down to 1,324 cases per day, the lowest since Oct. 15. Image
Read 7 tweets
20 Jan
A majority of you quickly settled on one of two names: Johnson and Clinton. Those are the two front-runners… but JOHNSON is the winner here. There have been 5 people named Johnson to receive Electoral College votes.

Explanation in the replies.
Remember, VPs get Electoral Votes, too.

- Richard Mentor Johnson, VP candidate in 1836 & 1840 (the 2nd was an odd one)
- Herschel Vespasian Johnson, Stephen Douglas’s 1860 running mate.
- Andrew Johnson, 1864
- Hiram Johnson, TR’s 1912 “Bull Moose” running mate
- Lyndon Johnson
There have to date been FOUR Clintons to receive electoral votes:

- George Clinton (got VP electoral votes in 1788, 1792, 1796, 1804, & 1808, & pres votes too in 1808)
- His nephew DeWitt Clinton, the federalist nominee in 1812
- Bill Clinton
- Hillary Clinton
Read 18 tweets
20 Jan
TRIVIA: Two people with the last name “Roosevelt” have received electoral college votes, one of 20 such last names with multiple electoral vote recipients.

What last name has the MOST individuals bearing it who have received electoral votes?
A follow-up question: there are FIVE last names born by three or more individuals to receive Electoral College votes. (Another 15, like Roosevelt, have received two.) What are these five names?
I’ll announce the answer in 10 minutes, so get your guesses in now!
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
Reading HW Brands’ “The Zealot & The Emancipator,” I was struck by a good way to analogize Lincoln’s famous lack of political experience — a single, decade-old term in Congress, and a few even older terms in the state legislature, before an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate. 1/
2/ It’s not that Lincoln was an outsider, like Zachary Taylor, elected president on the basis of his war heroism despite having never served in any prior political office and indeed never really expressing any political beliefs. Lincoln was intensely involved in IL politics.
3/ No, Abraham Lincoln in the 1850s was the 19th Century equivalent of a modern cable news commentator.
Read 15 tweets
18 Jan
This piece gets at an element of the ongoing debate over whether certain terms — “lie,” “coup,” “fascist,” “socialist” — should be applied today. The two sides are sort of talking past each other, with some people focusing on LOGICAL definitions & others on EMOTIONAL ones.
One person says, “Well, I define [Term X] as [definition], and event A, while terrible, doesn’t fit that definition. Rather, we should use [alternative technical term].”

Others basically argue, “Stop quibbling! This is bad, let’s use the term that conveys how bad it is!”
People using “emotional definitions” don’t want to use a dry technical term to describe something or someone they dislike. They want to use a term with a powerful (negative) emotional valence, to capture the proper attitude to the target.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
12 newly reported #COVID19 deaths today — a pretty low figure that’s normal for a Monday. In fact that’s actually up from last Monday’s total of just 4.

But with such small numbers, these don’t mean much — just a statistical blip. The long-term trend is still decline.
Newly reported cases, curiously enough, are EXACTLY the same as last Monday: 980. Here again the long-term trend is down.
This downward trend in cases shows up more clearly when you look at cases by sample date, which aren’t distorted by reporting effects. Last Monday saw a drop in cases, after weeks of increases.
Read 5 tweets
17 Jan
40 newly reported #COVID19 deaths in Minnesota today, down from 44 last Sunday. The 7-day average is down to 31 deaths/day, from nearly 40/day last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s average newly reported daily cases dropped below 1,500/day for the first time since Oct. 17. This is about the level cases were at before the November wave hit.
This isn’t a function of falling test volume, either. (MN’s average testing volume is just slightly higher now than it was in mid-October.)

Minnesota’s average #COVID19 positivity rate is down to 4.6% and falling.
Read 6 tweets