Saturday, September 22, 2012

President Obama's Economic Bright Spot: Republicans: Part 4

    This past Friday, September 21, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released state-by-state unemployment data for August.  Several times since April (here, here, and here) I have written about "President Obama's Economic Bright Spot: Republicans" in relation to the jobs data via an analysis of what I call Republican-controlled states versus Democratic-controlled states.  Those states I have defined as Republican-controlled have far outpaced Democratic-controlled states in improving their rates of unemployment since 2009.  For instance, in my July post, I noted, among other things:

  • When looking at the 50 states plus D.C., out of the top 26 with the best performance on unemployment [since 2009], 21 are Republican-controlled and only 5 are Democrat-controlled. 
  • Of the bottom 25, 15 are Democrat-controlled and 10 are Republican-controlled.  

    As I have explained in the past, I have defined "control" as the party that holds at least two out of three of the following: the governorship and the two legislative houses.  So, for instance, even though New Jersey has a Republican governor, Chris Christie, both legislative houses are held by Democrat majorities, so New Jersey is considered Democratic-controlled.

     Using this metric, I'd like to highlight just a single contrast from the recently released August BLS figures that I analyzed.  When the states under control of the respective parties are combined and considered as one, the rates of unemployment are as follows:

  • Republican-controlled states    7.7%
  • Democratic-control states        9.2%

    The rate in Republican-controlled states is a full one-and-a-half points better.  If the 7.7% rate had been reached in the Democratic-controlled states, almost one million more people would have jobs.

    For a campaign that has been criticized for lacking specifics, this real-world example of what Republican policies versus Democratic policies can produce would be a real boon.  Mitt Romney should make the case that his economic plan will tackle (as Joe Biden would say) that "three-letter" issue "jobs" with three letters of his own: G-O-P.

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