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Article summary:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the 2020 US presidential election, particularly on Trump's re-election prospects. The virus changed the political narrative and shaped the campaign, with the US suffering the largest number of cases and deaths in the world.

2. The study explores the effect of COVID-19 on Trump's electoral support at the county level. It finds that COVID-19 cases had a significant negative effect on Trump's vote share in the 2020 election compared to 2016. This effect is stronger in states without stay-at-home orders, states won by Trump in 2016, swing states, and urban counties.

3. The findings suggest that voters hold political leaders accountable for their response to a pandemic, as rising numbers of cases and deaths are seen as an indicator of incompetence. The study also highlights the importance of retrospective voting and how citizens evaluate incumbents based on their performance during crises like pandemics.

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