Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unemployment factor?

After the November unemployment rates came out for Virginia (4.6% overall) and several Southside localities, I was curious to see how these unemployment rates compared to Tom Perriello's performance gains. Below is a table with unemployment rates and their state ranking, along with the Democratic percentage gains between the 2006/2008 congressional races and the rankings of those gains within the district.
County/City Jobless rate Jobless rate state-wide rank 2006/2008 Net % Gain Net % Gain district-wide rank
Danville (City) 14.4% 2 14.1% 2
Henry 9.6% 5 13.5% 3
Martinsville (City) 14.9% 1 20.8% 1
Pittsylvania 10.1% 4 8.2% 18 (tied)
Total 4.6% -- 10.2% --

Martinsville has the highest unemployment rate in the state (14.9%) and our campaign made the highest percentage gains (20.8%) there. While you can't make a statement of causality here, our campaign did make large percentage gains in locations with the highest rates of unemployment, except perhaps Pittslyvania County.


Drew said...

Maybe we can say voters in those areas hit hardest by job loss, business closings, and industry relocations were more likely to vote for a change in their congressional representation. Thoughts?

Darren Staley said...

I agree with that.

Roland the HTG said...

Other factors were certainly in play in all these localities, and the Pittsylvania outlier would make for interesting follow-up on what those factors may have been, but this appears to be a strong explanation of voting trends in Southside, especially when combined with the anecdotal evidence along the same lines that came out of Martinsville and Danville in the months preceding the election. Thanks for putting this together.

Drew said...

Absolutely other factors were in play throughout the district, and Tom's victory cannot be boiled down to any one thing or event. I just think that you might be able to add this to that constellation of factors.

Michael said...

That is a really fascinating observation, Drew. I'd be interested to see the numbers for the rest of the counties--does this correlation follow elsewhere?

Drew said...

Michael, I only had the numbers for these four in-district, Southside localities. Wasn't really sure where I could get the numbers for every locality within the district.

James said...

Good analysis Drew! Like all things political no one factor carries the campaign, but surely this one factor had its affect.