Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

08 November 2008

GDP for Obama


Of all the campaign lies about President-Elect Barack Obama, the most galling was the notion that he or his supporters are somehow not “real” Americans.

Even conservatives and die-hard Republicans probably can agree that people who create wealth and make money are real Americans.

Following is a chart showing the aggregate percentage of national GDP—gross domestic product for the fifty states, plus the District of Columbia—of states that voted for Obama and McCain, and of states that preferred each candidate by a margin of 20 points or more:

Aggregate share of national GDP of states
preferring Obama by 20% or more
36%
Aggregate share of national GDP of
states preferring Obama
72%
Aggregate share of national GDP of
states preferring McCain
28%
Aggregate share of national GDP of states
preferring McCain by 20% or more
5%


The heights of the blocks are proportional to shares of national GDP.

So let’s not talk about “real” Americans anymore, please. If productivity is the measure of “real” Americans, they went for Obama not just by a landslide, but by an absolute rout.

[Sources: (1) Bureau of Economic Analysis Gross Domestic Product by State, Interactive Database; (2) Washington Post Final Electoral Map as of November 8, 2008 (click on “View winners by state,” then hold cursor over desired state). Missouri, which accounts for 1.7% of national GDP and was still undecided on November 8, is excluded. You have to make a spreadsheet to reproduce these figures, but it’s a straightforward exercise. All GDP percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.]

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