Today’s WTF Data Point: Democrats Lost More Seats in Districts With Better Economies

Real Time Economics:

“Of the 25 congressional districts hit hardest by the recession—measured by joblessness, poverty rates and housing prices—16 are currently represented by Democrats. Fourteen of them won reelection despite the Republican tide.

Just one of 16 has definitely switched hands: Nevada’s 3rd district, which includes many suburbs of Las Vegas, where the collapse of the housing bubble was especially severe. (The other district, northern California’s 11th, was still too close to call Wednesday. Republican David Harmer was leading by less than 30 votes, according to the Associated Press).”

And what about the districts that had the best economic growth?

“And of the 25 congressional districts that have fared best economically in the past year, 14 currently are represented by Democrats and the party held on to just eight of those. Seats in regions of New York, Virginia, Texas and Louisiana that performed relatively well economically moved into the Republican camp.”

Fascinating, counter-intuitive stuff . . .

>

Source:
Democrats Lost More Seats in Districts With Better Economies
Phil Izzo
Real Time Economics, November 4, 2010    
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/03/democrats-lost-more-seats-in-districts-with-better-economies/

Category: Data Analysis, Politics, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

39 Responses to “Bizarre Data Point: Democrats Lost More Seats in Districts With Better Economies . . .”

  1. franklin411 says:

    Recall that:

    A. The average income of a teabagger is: $50,000/yr
    B. The Wall Street banks that benefited most from the bailout spent the most on pushing Republican candidates.

    If you can have your cake and eat it too, why not?

  2. Mannwich says:

    Cognitive dissonance from the markets have spread everywhere. Nothing makes sense anymore. The Sheeple are desperately flailing for an answer. Any answer.

    Although I noticed that MA has turned blue again. Here in MN the state house AND senate have both turned red for first time in a generation, but it looks like we’ll have a Dem governor, so it’s flip-flopped here (was Dem state legislature and GOP governor.). Does it really matter at this point though? We get to do it all over again two years. Back and for the nonsense goes. Where she stops nobody knows.

  3. Mannwich says:

    I should MA stayed strongly blue (with Patrick being re-elected governer quite easily), but their economy seems to be doing OK relatively speaking.

  4. PappyBlueRibs says:

    There was a good study at the Pew Research Center – http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/766/poll-one-recession-two-americas-lost-ground-held-their-own – which looks at who has lost in the recession.

    So, even though I’m white/college educated/old/high income and I haven’t lost a lot in this recession, I’m scared that I might and so vote Republican when things turn bad (and maybe Democrat when I’m fat and sassy again, sometime in the future).

  5. Swarm The Banks says:

    Perhaps the poorer economies are relying on future stimulus packages and the better economies are wary of supporting more stimulus programs.

  6. call me ahab says:

    like a battered wife-

    always going back with a promise that they won’t get backhanded and taken for granted again

  7. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    May I ask the question: when will we the american people and government, realize that we are getting backed into a wall that only has two outcome – fight, or take less money home each week, month, etc. This election means nothing if no one addresses the massive disparity of income, and how those that control the capital control everything! Yes, they always have but not always to the same extent.

  8. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    The only way for “all boats to get lifted” in todays world is for workers across the board to have some say in productive imputs. The need for borderless representation of labor has never been so paramount.

  9. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    Pardon… I ment: “across the board and boarders.” Where is my editor when I need him? :-)

  10. drey says:

    Not that surprising, really.

    Better economies may correlate to a better educated, more diversified work force which might translate into more independent voters (or at least independent thinkers) who are big on little niceties like accountability…

  11. bergsten says:

    Doesn’t seem counterintuitive to me. Sad maybe, but not counterintuitive.

  12. JimRino says:

    People with jobs and healthcare, have the LUXURY to complain about their taxes.

  13. bigfattree says:

    Makes some sense. Seems to me that these are the folks most dependent on social programs and stand most to benefit from govy handouts (maybe even HC). One party seems to be more into those in aggregate than the others. Very interesting datapoint.

  14. plantseeds says:

    More info needed on the districts and candidates.. like which ones and do they parcitice witchcraft? example – Rhode Island has two districts, its likely that both are included in the 25 hit hardest given the 11.5% unemplyment rate and we havn’t sent an R to the house in over 15 years. It’s just the way it is ’round here.

  15. VennData says:

    Better economics, but also better GOP advertising too. Socialist! Muslim! Un-American! Anti-Business!

  16. Balata says:

    Doesn’t seem counter-intuitive to me either. The same bankrupt states elect the same bankrupt
    politicians with the same bankrupting agendas. This won’t change until (if) or (when) the truth becomes their last option, then party affilliation won’t matter. To qoute Todd Harrison “The leaders that led us into this mess won’t be the ones that lead us out” or something like that.

  17. huxrules says:

    I think it’s a telling data point. These areas might have been “doing well” economically on paper but more than likely these areas had the highest rate of middle class destruction. 50k a year just isn’t middle class anymore. Thats just payin the bills.

  18. Basilisc says:

    Shows that the current right-wing boomlet reflects, not dissatisfaction at the recession, but resentment at the “freeloaders” who (right-wing propaganda has long held) allegedly benefitted from the Democrats” attempts to help the victims of the recession. Remember that crazy ranting guy on CNBC?

    Economic crises divide society, somewhat randomly, into winners (or at least survivors) and losers. The recent election results were all about the winners’ resentment at being asked to support the losers. So it’s not surprising that places with relatively more winners produced results that expressed stronger resentment.

    Also note that the age-gap that drove the results – the Republicans’ gains were almost entirely due to relatively greater participation by the elderly and lower participation by the young relative to 2008 – also neatly fits the division into winners and losers. Older people are more likely to have paid off all or most of their mortgages, so falling house values don’t leave them underwater. It’s the recent home-buyers, who tend to be young, who were most directly pummelled by the collapse in house prices. To the extent that many of them no doubt were too depressed and disillusioned to participate this time.

    The triumph of resentment was sad and pathetic, and completely propaganda driven (the mortgage modifications went nowhere, the increased Federal spending barely offset sharp cutbacks at the state/local level and the accompanying layoffs of teachers, police, & firefighters, etc). And it bespeaks the lack of community in this country – in earlier eras people might have pulled together more to overcome hardship.

  19. Lugnut says:

    “Fascinating, counter-intuitive stuff . . .”

    Not counter intuitive at all, Barry. In NJ Democrats have the tightest hold on power on all of the most economically challenged areas. All the programs and social services that the lower rungs are most dependent on, are all visibly and vocally brought to them by the Dems. You won’t find a Republican politician worth his salt anywhere’s within 20 miles of Camden or Newark. You can’t put up a popsicle stand in south Jersey without getting George Norcross involved.

  20. ubnutsagain says:

    “Fascinating, counter-intuitive stuff”

    BR, you’ve been enmeshed in that NY mentality too long.

    Generally, it’s fair to say that the type of folks who live in stronger economic areas are a key reason those areas perform better economically. “Type of folks” means people who are more rational in their thought processes and have a culture of independence and self-motivated initiative. Said another way, they don’t need government to take care of themselves, and they vote accordingly.

    Conversely, and still generally, folks who culturally have become dependent upon government for their economic benefits (such as they are) will favor the politicians who feed that cultural characteristic.

    It ain’t rocket science.

  21. Equityval says:

    Gee, maybe it wasn’t the economy. Maybe they really didn’t like his policies, ie the lunacy of implementing a hugely expense new health care entitlement in the midst of the recession, the failure to properly recapitalize the banks, and the propping up of the completely indefensibly and unsustainable state and local government wage, pension and benefit programs through the stimulus program.

    It really isn’t that mysterious folks.

  22. Joe Friday says:

    You want Cognitive Dissonance ?

    Bloomberg polled people just before the election and asked these three questions:

    * Did your taxes go up or down over the last year ?

    * Is the economy growing or shrinking ?

    * Will the federal government get back all of the TARP money it used to bailout Wall Street ?

    To each question, by a TWO TO ONE MARGIN, people answered in the negative. Nevermind that their taxes went DOWN, the national GDP is positive again, and the TARP money is being paid back and will likely earn a profit.

  23. Joe Friday says:

    Equityval,

    “the lunacy of implementing a hugely expense new health care entitlement”

    To the contrary, the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the Affordable Care Act will REDUCE the federal deficit.

    ~

    “the propping up of the completely indefensibly and unsustainable state and local government wage, pension and benefit programs through the stimulus program”

    So, better not to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of policeman, fireman, and teachers across the country ?

  24. NormanB says:

    The facts are your friends so don’t rationalize this info to the Dems advantage. This is pretty good proof that Obama’s claim that his and the Dem’s unpopularity is due to the economy; it is not true. Its their arrogance and their shoving legislation down our throats. Also, the very strong stock market in his first two years didn’t mean anything to people. The Dems should be happy that there wasn’t a true galvanizing voice in the GOP or else the carnage would have been worse.

  25. Bruman says:

    I was discussing the elections with a client yesterday. He made an interesting observation about the results of Initiative 1098 in Washington state, which proposes raising income taxes from 0% to 5% on those earning more than $200k and 9% on income over $900k. It would also cut property taxes and increase business credits for small businesses.

    What’s interesting is that the property tax cuts and business credits would help a large number of Washignton residents, with the tax only falling on a few. The income tax increase is actually supported by many of the states’ wealthiest (Bill Gates, Sr., father of the famous Bill Gates, proposed the bill).

    But the bill failed. Which basically suggests that much of the entire state voted against their economic interest. Many of the rich voted FOR the bill, whereas clearly more than 50% of the state voted AGAINST it?

    My client read it as 80% of the state thining that they are one day going to be in the top 5% and not wanting to pay some taxes when they get there. I just find it one of those strange things about the times we live in.

  26. Equityval says:

    Joe Friday,

    Thank you for exposing your fiscal naivete and arithmetic ignorance all in one response. If you truly believe that the health care bill will reduce the deficit on an ongoing basis, then you my friend may as well find the next Madoff and hand him your money. You deserve what is coming to you.

    They ONLY reason the CBO makes that statement is the Dems gamed the scoring of the bill. They frontloaded the bill with taxes that start before the spending does so that over ten years they can make the claim that it reduces the deficit. After that, forget about it, it is one more in a series of open ended, unfunded entitlements that adds materially to the debt the country will incur, and it will accelerate the portion of GDP that is spent on health care.

    I give credit to Pelosi for pulling off the con on rubes like you (I can see you nodding your head in agreement when she said “we have to approve it so you can find out what is in it”). Unfortunately for her sake, there aren’t enough people like you out there. Most voters are much smarter than that and the election just demonstrated that, in spades.

  27. Equityval says:

    Joe Friday,

    I have no problem keeping all those civil servants on the public payroll. I just think they ought to be paid like people in the private sector. You know, 401Ks instead of defined benefit plans, making contributions to their health care insurance, etc. The typical public employee gets a bigger salary than a private sector worker with comparable responsibilities and has benefits the rest of us can only dream of. They have shared in our wealth tremendously in the salad years, now they need to share the pain as our taxes are raised to keep them in their jobs. It’s a bitch but that’s reality.

    So yeah, I have a problem with the 115 firefighters in Miami who made more than $150K last year, or the $193K average firefighter pay in Vallejo, CA that helped put the city into bankruptcy http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_38/b4195029539867.htm
    or the 8000 people who work for the MTA that make more than $100K a year (Really!!!! How can so many people that are paid so well produce such consistently sh*tty service????? Don’t you think $250K in pay for a train conductor is a little over the top??? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/nyregion/03mta.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=mta%20%24100,000&st=cse )

    The last 3 years have been a wake up call and a very wrenching adjustment for those of us in the private sector. The next 3 years are going to provide a similarly unpleasant wake up call for the seriously coddled members of the public sector work force.

  28. Equityval says:

    Bruman,

    Or maybe, the voters have done a little homework on the history of income taxes in other states and have learned that they all start as “small” taxes on the “rich” who can “afford” it. And then guess what happens, times are tight a few years down the road, and isn’t it fair that the “not quite so rich” pay their fair share, and then those small tax rates get increased a little bit because we these guys need to “pitch in” to solve the budget problems, and then a few more years down the road there is a fiscal crisis and, guess what, a tax on the middle class and working poor is implemented on a “temporary basis” and the rate on the “rich and not quite so rich” gets raised higher, and then a few more years down the road when the economy is better the legislators decide they can’t possibly roll back the tax rates because, you know, the programs they fund are so “vital” (and happen to be the pet projects of special interest groups that organize their members to vote for said legislators). So before you know it that special, low rate, income tax on the “rich” has become a burdensome, high rate, tax on everyone because once the camel’s nose is under the tent, it doesn’t stop at just a few crumbs that are found on the edge – it wants to eat everything inside it.

    Once again, the voters are way smarter than you guys give them credit for.

  29. Joe Friday says:

    Equityval,

    “If you truly believe that the health care bill will reduce the deficit on an ongoing basis…”

    Your argument is with the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

    ~

    “They ONLY reason the CBO makes that statement is the Dems gamed the scoring of the bill.”

    Gibberish.

    The director of the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is a REPUBLICAN.

    ~

    “They frontloaded the bill with taxes that start before the spending does so that over ten years they can make the claim that it reduces the deficit.”

    You’ve fallen for RightWing propaganda.

    ~

    “After that, forget about it, it is one more in a series of open ended, unfunded entitlements that adds materially to the debt the country will incur, and it will accelerate the portion of GDP that is spent on health care.”

    Wrong on all counts.

    ~

    “I give credit to Pelosi for pulling off the con on rubes like you”

    Yet you’re the one that fell for the propaganda.

    ~

    “(I can see you nodding your head in agreement when she said “we have to approve it so you can find out what is in it”)”

    Actually, the Speaker stated:

    “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

    Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly stated: “She meant there was so much talk about process (in Congress) that people have lost sight of what’s actually in the bill. Once it’s passed, we can remind them of all the good things that are in it.”

    And I would add they would also find out what is NOT in the bill, contrary to RightWing propaganda.

  30. Joe Friday says:

    Equityval,

    “I have no problem keeping all those civil servants on the public payroll. I just think they ought to be paid like people in the private sector. You know, 401Ks instead of defined benefit plans, making contributions to their health care insurance, etc.”

    It’s called collective bargaining.

    ~

    “The typical public employee gets a bigger salary than a private sector worker with comparable responsibilities”

    False.

    When taking into consideration their seniority and much higher levels of education, it has been documented that they earn less than the private-sector.

  31. VennData says:

    President Palin’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Board make these guys…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp_l5ntikaU

    …look like the Manhattan Project.

    – Palin in 2012

  32. Equityval says:

    Joe Friday,

    Here’s the summary of the accounting for the bill from a former head of the CBO:

    “fantasy in, fantasy out” and here are the details:

    “Removing the unrealistic annual Medicare savings ($463 billion) and the stolen annual revenues from Social Security and long-term care insurance ($123 billion), and adding in the annual spending that so far is not accounted for ($114 billion) quickly generates additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years. And the nation would be on the hook for two more entitlement programs rapidly expanding as far as the eye can see.

    The bottom line is that Congress would spend a lot more; steal funds from education, Social Security and long-term care to cover the gap; and promise that future Congresses will make up for it by taxing more and spending less. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/21holtz-eakin.html

  33. Equityval says:

    Joe Friday,

    It’s actually bribery, not collective bargaining. Raise lots of money for the politicians and then have them feather your nest with above market wage and benefit packages.

    Here are the details on wages – the typical public employee makes 30% more than their counterpart in the private sector. This does not take into account their insanely rich pension and heath care benefits. Here’s a non-partisan, research report on the topic of wages:

    http://www.cbcny.org/cbc-blogs/blogs/public-and-private-sector-wage-disparity-update

    The voters have figured this out. They realize it is a zero sum game between them and the unions. As Hugh Carey once said, the days of wine and roses are over.

  34. Joe Friday says:

    Equityval,

    “Here’s the summary of the accounting for the bill from a former head of the CBO:”

    A) Holtz-Eakin was THOROUGHLY discredited and embarrassed after he wrote that nonsense and gibberish.

    B) Holtz-Eakin was the economic advisor to the McCain campaign. You remember, the economic team that claimed that in regards to the economy, the American people were “a nation of whiners” in what turned out to be the worst economy since the Great Depression ? Those guys.

  35. Joe Friday says:

    Equityval,

    “It’s actually bribery, not collective bargaining.”

    No, it’s collective bargaining. It’s also federal law. You might want to check with the ‘National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. Chapter 7’.

    ~

    “Here are the details on wages – the typical public employee makes 30% more than their counterpart in the private sector.”

    False.

    * Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience.

    Benefits make up a slightly larger share of compensation for the state and local sector. But even after accounting for the value of retirement, healthcare, and other benefits, state and local employees earn less than private sector counterparts.

    An ANALYSIS SPANNING TWO DECADES shows the pay gap between public and private sector employees has widened in recent years.

    http://www.nirsonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=395&Itemid=48

    * State and local employees are paid more, on average, than private-sector workers – about 13 percent more, according to this analysis by John Schmitt. But as Schmitt shows, that’s an apples and oranges comparison: state and local workers are much better educated and somewhat older than private-sector workers, and once you correct for that the comparison actually seems to go the other way.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/wage-penalty-state-local-gov-employees/

  36. mikaeel says:

    JimRino Says:

    People with jobs and healthcare, have the LUXURY to complain about their taxes.

    So true. Then there’s the issue that minorities tend not to change party lines regardless of the issues or current state of affairs.

  37. mikaeel says:

    And they tend to live in the districts, with the worst economies. Hence Dems will always win in these areas.

  38. sue806 says:

    If the public sector was actually STILL paid less than the private sector without taking into account the “benefits” of having a defined pension and all its amenties, why is there a waiting list for public sector jobs?

    I understand and so do most of Americans that:

    1-Government jobs entailed earning LESS money for the same job position that the private sector is willing to pay with the added security of not being laid off because the private industry company went out of business.
    2-That employees voluntarily accepted less income during their “working years” than a private sector employee was paid because of the extra security and available amenties like automatic holidays, liberal vacation and sick time with total medical insurance paid that had a carrot of an automatic minimum pension plan that was NOT supposed to be in excess of what the private industry could afford or pay.
    3-If you are asking the taxpayers to fund your amenties and pensions, it can not be in excess of what they are paid.

    3- If you really want equality between private sector and government jobs the above philoshopy must be returned.