Blue States Bleed Red Ink

Brian Hicks

Updated February 26, 2010



red ink


Hmmm…..Why doesn’t this surprise me?

From Forbes Neil Weinberg entitled: Political Litmus Test: Bluest States Spilling the Most Red Ink

“Want to know which states are in the worst financial condition? One telling indicator that might not immediately come to mind is whether most of its citizens identify themselves as Democrats.

The five states in the worst financial condition—Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey—are all among the bluest of blue states. The five most fiscally fit states are more of a mix. Three—Utah, Nebraska and Texas—boast Republican majorities and two—New Hampshire and Virginia—skew Democratic.

Why do Democratic states appear to be struggling more than Republican ones?

It comes down to stronger unions and a larger appetite for public programs, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political studies and public affairs at the University of Illinois’ Center for State Policy and Leadership.

“Unions in general have more influence in Democratic-controlled states,” he says. “This isn’t to say that unions are bad, but where they’re strong you have bigger demands for social services and coalitions with construction companies, road builders and others that push up debt.”

Of the 10 states in the worst financial condition, eight are among a total of 23 defined by Gallup as “solidly Democratic,” meaning the Democrats enjoy an advantage of 10 percentage points or greater in party affiliation. These states include the ones listed above as making up the bottom five, plus Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The majority Republican states ranked among the financially healthiest are Utah, Nebraska, Texas, North Dakota and Montana. All told, seven of the 10 most Republican states rank in the top half in terms of fiscal fitness.”


Cue the hate mail…

In the meantime, though, all I can say is that both parties stink.


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