In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate.
Since January of 2011, here is how much the unemployment rate declined in each of the 17 states that elected Republican governors in 2010, according to the Examiner:
Kansas - 6.9% to 6.1% = a decline of 0.8%
Maine - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%
Michigan - 10.9% to 8.5% = a decline of 2.4%
New Mexico - 7.7% to 6.7% = a decline of 1.0%
Oklahoma - 6.2% to 4.8% = a decline of 1.4%
Pennsylvania - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%
Tennessee - 9.5% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.6%
Wisconsin - 7.7% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.9%
Wyoming - 6.3% to 5.2% = a decline of 1.1%
Alabama - 9.3% to 7.4% = a decline of 1.9%
Georgia - 10.1% to 8.9% = a decline of 1.2%
South Carolina - 10.6% to 9.1% = a decline of 1.5%
South Dakota - 5.0% to 4.3% = a decline of 0.7%
Florida - 10.9% to 8.6% = a decline of 2.3%
Nevada - 13.8% to 11.6% = a decline of 2.2%
Iowa - 6.1% to 5.1% = a decline of 1.0%
Ohio - 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%
On the other hand, the unemployment rate in states that elected Democrats in 2010 dropped, on average, as much as the national rate decline and, in some states such as New York, the unemployment rate has risen since January of 2011.
This is yet another example of how the so-called “blue state” model is not working.
First, what the hell is the "blue state" model? Not something we've ever heard of.
Second, weren't there a few more than 17 republican governors elected in 2010? Yeup. It's a little number known around these parts as "23." 17 is the number of first term republican governors elected, either capturing a seat previously held by a democrat, replacing a retiring republican, or in the case of Nevada, defeating the incumbent in the primary.
Third, what about all the other numbers? States that have republican governors but are on a different election cycle? What about democrat states? How are they doing?
Let's fill in the rest of the data, starting with the 6 states with incumbent Republicans:
Nebraska - 4.5% to 3.9% = a decline of 0.6%
Texas - 8.1% to 6.9% = a decline of 1.2%
Arizona - 9.9% to 8.2% = a decline of 1.7%
Idaho - 8.8% to 7.8% = a decline of 1.0%
Utah - 7.5% to 6.0% = a decline of 1.5%
Alaska - 7.8% to 7.0% = a decline of 0.8%
Next, there were 8 new democrats elected:
Vermont - 6.0% to 4.6% = a decline of 1.4%
Connecticut - 9.3% to 7.8% = a decline of 1.5%
Minnesota - 6.8% to 5.6% = a decline of 1.2%
California - 12.1% to 10.8% = a decline of 1.3%
Colorado - 8.8% to 8.1% = a decline of 0.7%
New York - 8.2% to 8.6% = an increase of 0.4%
Oregon - 9.9% to 8.4% = a decline of 1.5%
Hawaii - 6.7% to 6.3% = a decline of 0.4%
Moving on, there were 5 states that re-elected a democrat:
New Hampshire - 5.6% to 5.0% = a decline of 0.6%
Massachusetts - 7.8% to 6.0% = a decline of 1.8%
Maryland - 7.3% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.5%
Illinois - 9.4% to 8.6% = a decline of 0.8%
Arkansas - 8.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 0.7%
Of course, there's no reason just to look at states that had an election in 2010. Did people elected in 2008 suddenly throw away their party affiliations? ...You'd hope they would after taking office, but they don't.
First up, the republicans:
New Jersey - 9.4% to 9.2% = a decline of 0.2%
Virginia - 6.4% to 5.6% = a decline of 0.8%
Indiana - 9% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.1%
Mississippi - 10.5% to 8.7% = a decline of 1.8%
Louisiana - 7.7% to 7.2% = a decline of 0.5%
North Dakota - 3.6% to 3.0% = a decline of 0.6%
And now the democrats:
North Carolina - 10.5% to 9.4% = a decline of 1.1%
West Virginia - 8.3% to 6.9% = a decline of 1.4%
Kentucky - 9.9% to 8.2% = a decline of 1.7%
Missouri - 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%
Montana - 6.9% to 6.3% = a decline of 0.6%
Washington - 9.6 to 8.3% = a decline of 1.3%
And what about Rhode Island? They have an independent governor, but let's toss them up on the big board anyways:
Rhode Island - 11.4% to 11.0% = a decline of 0.4%
Now comes the question of what to do with all this data. The first thing to do would be to say that it's all pretty meaningless. The governor of a state isn't in perfect control of unemployment. The state legislature has a lot to do with it, as does the federal government, and then there's the state's particular mix of resources, industries, and demographics.
There's also the fact that you can't really compare rates of decline because states have different starting points. Mississippi (R) and Massachusetts (D) tied for biggest drop, 1.8%. But, Mississippi started at 10.5%, while Mass was at 7.8%. It's a lot easier to lose 10 pounds if you weigh 200 than if you weigh 160. Virginia, New Hampshire, and Nebraska all performed worse than the national percentage, but have among the lowest rates of unemployment.
49 states saw a drop in unemployment. Of the states that are above the national average of 8.2%, 6 have democrats in office, and 7 have republicans. Of course, republicans have 29 governorships to the democrats' 20, so that's 30% of dem states above national average, and 24% of republican states over average. And 100% of independent states.
Looking only at states where the governor has been in office more than 2 years (so either they weren't in the 2010 election cycle, or an incumbent won), 2 out of 12 republican states were above average, and 3 out of 11 democrat states were above average.
Worst state in terms of improving employment was New York, with Cuomo in office since January 2011. Second worst was New Jersey, with Chris Christie in since January of 2010.
And what about New York? Doesn't it's rising unemployment prove that Democrats are awful human beings? Well, prior to the 2010 election, Democrats controlled the New York Legislature. Starting in 2011, Republicans gained control of the Senate. Unemployment had been on the decline, but that trend reversed in April, 2011.
What's all this mean? Nothing. None of it means anything, but prepare for 24/7 news coverage of it.