Map of the Day: Where Have Wages Fared Best Under Obama?

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When Democrats were campaigning in 2006, one of the bedrocks of their platform was raising the minimum wage. Democrats across the land, liberal and conservative, saw it as an easy political win, a campaign wedge issue, and an economic no-brainer. Once they got in power, it was one of the few pieces of legislation their caucus could agree on. 


Fast-forward four years and the political mood has shifted dramatically. Voters who were looking for more government responsibility after the Bush administration are now dismayed at the ballooning of government intervention. 

Enter candidates like Joe Miller and Linda McMahon, who tout private-sector experience and a platform of curtailing government mandates. Both candidates expressed interest last week in rolling back the minimum wage, arguing it was arbitrary and a responsibility of the states. 

Both would have surely been impaled in the 2006 climate. In 2010, it's not so clear. It also doesn't hurt that Alaska and Connecticut have two of the lowest rates of workers on minimum wage, according to First Read. Alaska also ranks in the top 10 in income growth during the Obama tenure. 

The map below from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (sounds like a fun place to work) shows income growth between 1Q09, when Obama took office, and 2Q10. There are certainly some overlaps with the 2008 electoral map, with the Northeast doing better and the Great Plains doing worse. But the best is New York, which was in the dregs in early 2009 but by 2010 had 1.1 percent growth.

  Wages by State Under Obama
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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.
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