Which Party Is Better for the Economy? by state

Guest post by Nathan Salminen (is a lawyer and an amateur economic and political researcher. Nathan has been politically active for many years, including working for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary as a law clerk. Nathan currently practices law in New York and runs Politics that work.)

Dan here…this is the second part to a series of three.

Comparing results between red and blue states

We have 50 different states, each with its own set of policies. In many cases, states have adhered to a generally consistent approach to policy for decades or even a century or more, so the condition the states are in is a strong indicator of the effects those policies have. This presents a great opportunity to evaluate the impacts of those policies by comparing the economies of the states.

The most straight-forward way to see whether the economy is performing better in red states or blue states is simply to look at the per-person median household income. The differences in that regard are stark:

median income by state

You can see equally stark results by looking at the states ranked from highest to lowest for median household income.
Another way to measure which states are doing well economically is to look at the percentage of people in poverty. The results are the reverse of the results above for median income:

poverty by state

The success of the Democratic states seems to play out across the board, even beyond the economic realm, as is evidenced by the consistently stronger performance of the Democratic states in terms of standard of living. In fact, even lifespans differ dramatically between red and blue states.

It seems clear that liberal policies are performing better at the state level across the board. I posted some ideas about why Democratic states are doing so much better economically earlier, but for our purposes here all that matters is that they are in fact doing so much better.