My conclusion was that there's likely to only be one statewide race* where a Republican candidate loses by less than the COVID death margin: The Nevada Senate race where, as of this writing, incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is trailing Republican challenger Adam Laxalt by less than 800 votes. I estimate that somewhere between 900 - 2,400 more Trump voters than Biden voters died of COVID-19 over the past two years, so if Laxalt ends up losing by less than 2,400 votes, I'd say it's pretty likely that yes, the partisan gap in COVID deaths did indeed play a small but critical role.
According to official CDC data, around 815,000 Americans died of COVID-19 between 10/31/20 - 09/10/22. Of those, I had estimated that perhaps 569,000 had actually voted for Biden or Trump. The total number has tragically risen by around 7,000 more since mid-September, which means the number of 2020 voters who've died is also likely around 4,900 higher.
As noted a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to ease up on my obsessive COVID vaccination & death rate tracking. I'm not abandoning it entirely, mind you; I'm just dropping the updates from weekly to monthly.
There's two reasons for this: First, the weekly updates have been monopolizing my time & energy, making me fall behind on a whole mess of other important healthcare policy stuff; after all, this is ACASignups.net not COVIDTracker.net. Secondly, I think it's fair to say that after meticulously tracking the data for nearly two years (in the case of COVID deaths) or one year (in the case of vaccination rates), I've more than made my point.
However, there's one other important factor which I haven't delved into...because I never had access to the data, at least not at the county level: Excess deaths. For this, I've enlisted the assistance of Andrew Stokes, Asst. Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, to the point that I'm giving him co-author credit for this entry.