Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A tale of two states?

The 'second Super Tuesday' is being billed as featuring two states on opposite ends of the economic spectrum: Texas the land of prosperity, Ohio a stagnant miasma. The current trends in both states reveal that Texas is where growth is while Ohio is where it was. The Lone Star state has no corporate income tax and Houston, its largest city, is the nation's (and arguably the world's) energy capital--a nice asset when domestic gasoline prices are over $3 a gallon and oil tops $100 a barrel.

But the contrast is more about where people believe they are headed than where they actually are. Ohio ranked 26th in median household income to Texas' 31st in 2004, the latest Census numbers available. And Texas households are considerably larger--2.81 people per to Ohio's average of 2.47--so there are more bodies to spread the income over there (the cost-of-living index in Texas--89.3 where the national average is 100--is lower than Ohio's 93.9, however). In 2004, Ohio's unemployment was 6.1%, higher than the state's current rate of 5.8%. While 12.5% of Ohioans fell below the poverty line, 16.6% of Texans did. In the heart of the rustbelt, 11.1% of the population is without health insurance, while 24.1% of the population of Texas is uninsured ('06 numbers). The income gap between the haves and have-nots in Texas is among the very widest in the nation, putatively of major concern to Democratic interests especially. In Ohio, the spread is slightly smaller than the national average.

Most of those numbers, the most recent I was able to find, are a few years old, but it's unlikely that the states' relative positions have shifted with regards to any of the attributes above.

Tangentially, I find the narrative that "Hillary faces a tough choice if she garners anything less than decisive triumphs in Ohio and Texas" interesting. That a candidate could win California, Texas, New York, and Florida (that is, the four most populous states in the country) and yet be 'forced' to concede long before anything approaching mathematical elimination has been reached, would be (to my knowledge) historically unprecedented. Yet (again to my knowledge) the major media bias in favor of one Democratic candidate over another has little precedence, either.


Anonymous said...

The media is pumping Obama because the know some embarrasing stuff about him that they probably will reveal if he wins the nomination. The establishment wants McCain. Its obvious.

Rupert Murdoch is not pumping Barack Obama 24/7 on Fox because he likes the guy, I assure you that.

savage said...

It has been before said here that the white woman does not command a level of untouchability that the black man. What is in the mind of Rupert Murdoch differs from the fawning half-wit anchors who cheer Obama on.

al fin said...

With President Obama, every criticism of the administration will be painted by the media as racism. It will be difficult for such an "entitled" president to represent the entire nation.

As the US black population proportion shrinks, it will naturally assume less importance in the overall politico-economic scheme. Unless black entitlement becomes engraved in stone:

Since it looks like Michelle wears the pants in that family, I can see her pushing for slavery reparations the day after the inauguration. Cabinet-level Department of Reparations, guaranteeing lifelong cradle to grave support, with no sunset provisions.

Audacious Epigone said...


Do you think the NYT non-story was intended to bolster McCain, then? Causation is tough to guess at, but his solid performance in last night's primaries among self-identified conservatives lends credence to the predictable idea that leftwing criticism will make him more appealing.


Right. It strains credulity to believe that Renee Montaigne or Diane Sawyer are so tactical, forward-thinking, and deceptive.


It will be interesting to see how Obama's panoply of untouchability is broached (to the extent that it is at all) should he become President. I suspect the first major media figure to pin the ears back will be, cliche as it sounds, Rush Limbaugh, who shows a surprising amount of indifference to charges of racism, sexism, etc, for someone (on the political right or otherwise) in a position carrying such popular 'prestige'.