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Did Obama Do Better in States with Bad Economies?

- January 30, 2009

A few weeks ago, I noted a post by Jim Gimpel, who found that the economic climate in the battleground states was worse than in other states.

With some help from Jim in sourcing data, I’ve delved a little deeper. Consider what follows suggestive, rather than conclusive. For each state, I subtracted Kerry’s vote share from Obama’s, to get a sense of how much better or worse Obama did. I plot that against several economic indicators:

* The percent unemployed, as of October 2008.
* The raw change in that percent, from December 2007 until October 2008.
* The percent change in that percent, over the same time period.
* The number of home foreclosures per 10,000 households, as of October 2008.
* The percent change in that number, from October 2007 to October 2008.

Here’s the first plot. The rest are below the fold.

obama_unemp.png

obama_unempchg.png

obama_unempchg2.png

obama_forecl.png

obama_foreclrate.png

The upshot here: the relationships are modest at best, and even the stronger relationships may derive from Hawaii’s outlier status. Simple regression models with one economic indicator and a dummy variable for Hawaii reveal no statistically significant relationships.

Further evidence of a uniform swing?

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