Do Democrats Live in States With Higher Unemployment?

Yesterday the blogosphere made a bonfire party out the suggestions that Republican states had better unemployment rates. Today, I present two pictures: 1) a graph of unemployment by state from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (via Krugman); and 2) a graph of political party affiliation by state from Gallup (via Sullivan).

You decide how they match up:


Here's unemployment by state (June figures):
unemploymentbystatejuly.pngAnd political affiliation by state (through August):

politicalpartybystatejuly.png

I don't think the graphs tells us so much except that there are strikingly few states that are solid or leaning Republican, and they represent an even more strikingly small number of people. That makes it difficult to make a sweeping statement abouts the unemployment levels of states with a Republican party advantage. But no sweat, because you should probably steer clear of those sweeping statements anyway.

What I can say is this: Of the five leaning/solid Republican states in the country, two have comparatively good levels of unemployment, two have unemployment around or just under the national average, and one beats the national standard with unemployment over 10 percent.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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