March 27, 2009

The Blue State Recession

Ok. First map is 2008 election results by county. Second map is population density by county. Sorry the colors are not the same. I am not saying it is a hard and fast rule, but if you look I think it will become evident to everyone that the more populous an area is the higher the tendency to vote liberal.

Population Density by County

The divide is between urban areas/inner suburbs and suburbs/rural areas. For example, in the 2008 elections, even in "solidly Blue" states, the majority of voters in most rural counties voted for Republican John McCain, with some exceptions. And in "solidly Red" states, a majority of voters in most urban counties (Such as Dallas County, TX) voted for Democrat Barack Obama. And an even more detailed breakdown demonstrates that, in many cases, large cities voted for Obama, but their suburbs were divided.
Red states and Blue states have several demographic differences from each other.

In the 2008 elections both parties received at least 40% from all sizable social and economic demographics, according to exit polling. In 2008, college graduates were split equally; those with postgraduate degrees voted for Obama by a 18% margin. For household income, Obama got a majority of households with less than $50,000 in annual income, and McCain got a households consisting of married couples. McCain held the more suburban and rural areas of both the red and blue states, while Obama received the large majority of the urban city areas in all the states.

A little personal anecdotal data:

I travel a lot for my job. In the past 6 months I have been to North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, Colorado, Texas, Indiana, and Missouri. Everywhere I go I strike up conversations with folks and I try not to say anything very provocative, but I try to get a sense of what their feeling is as far as the direction of the country. Not one person I have talked to believes that we are headed in the right direction. Now admittedly, these are all working folks. They all have jobs. But it ranges from Factory Workers, Insurance Executives, Business Managers, Folks in the Airport, People in line at the rental car counter, you name it.

I also get cold calls from a wide variety of salesmen in my job. They call from all over the country. I used to just hang up on them, but now when they try to sell me something I tell them that we just can’t do it right now because of the economy and budget cuts and so forth. They begin to tell me all sorts of things and none of them are particularly hopeful. They tell me that they hear that all the time. They tell me about how their company is downsizing etc etc etc. When cold call salesmen start actually talking to you and telling you about the guy in the next cubicle and so forth that is pretty 'out there'.

Now the last thing I want to share is that from where I live and from my perspective life is going on almost completely normally. My area is getting two new restaurants, there are some construction projects that are not government funded, the mall is always busy, the department stores are always busy, restaurants are busy, traffic is bad on Saturdays, I still get credit card offers in the mail, banks still loan money, there are some homes being bought. There are a lot of homes for sale, but prices have not fallen. There have been layoffs at some businesses. The car dealerships are definitely hurting. But nothing else seems to be that much.

I think we are having a Blue State Recession. What sectors are the worst hit? Banking and Finance, Home Sales, Auto Industry. Everything else is somewhat trickledown from that. Housing in the Las Vegas Area, Florida, Southern California,. Factory jobs lost in the Auto Industry mostly in the North states like Michigan and Ohio, Banking and Finance folks losing tons of money along the major money areas of the East Coast.

I know it is not 100% rock solid, I know retirement accounts were just destroyed, all I am saying is that life goes on in most areas of the country for now. But look at the places that were hit hardest, look at where populations are denser, and look at where they vote Democrat…it is a whole lot of the same places.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin