Friday, January 13, 2012

Primaries, the Whiteness of Iowa, NH; Low Unemployment Rates

It is very curious that we are giving so much first in the nation stock to two states that are hardly representative of the United States.

Iowa and New Hampshire both have white populations of over 90 percent (IA: 92.6%, NH: 94.8%, for the 2005 to 2009 year range). The national figure for the white population is 74.5 percent. In Iowa and New Hampshire, of the other groups, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or Latino and Native American, none exceed five percent.

(See, for example, this Fact Sheet at the U.S. Census' FactFinder site:
(By the way, on January 20, 2012, the Census' new portal will be : )

More diverse Florida and Nevada
At the end of January and at the beginning of February, will come the primaries in Florida and Nevada.
Florida of course has a larger percentage of Latino voters, as compared to Iowa or New Hampshire.
Nevada will also be a more diverse state than the first primary or caucus states. It has become a magnet for Asian heritage Americans. Demographers in a USA Today article ("In a twist, USA's Asians are heading to the Mountain West" [7/6/2008], ) hypothesize that Asians are doing what middle class whites have done for decades: moved to different states, to find easier costs of living. Nevada in the 2004 to 2009 period had an Asian percentage (6.2 %) higher than the national average of 4.4 percent. (Las Vegas' Asian percentage is 5.9 percent.
The 2008 USA Today article reports:
Filipinos are the largest Asian group here, at about 45%. Chinese are the next at 15%, Japanese and Koreans make up 9% each, Asian Indians and Vietnamese represent about 5% each, and other Asians make up 12%.

Because the Asian community is still relatively small in numbers, ethnic divisions are not as distinct as in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York.
Given voting patterns that we have seen in California and New Jersey, a "purple" or swing state status, between Republican red and Democratic blue could be in the cards for Nevada. The state might be a potential President Obama win in November and the Democrats might take the Republican senate seat there this year.

Ah hah!: Iowa and New Hampshire unemployment rates out of sync with the nation
Will the unemployment rates of South Carolina, Florida and Nevada provide a contrast in voting patterns to voting patterns in low unemployment states of Iowa and Hampshire?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site ( ), which uses December 20, 2011 data for the latest reported state-by-state unemployment figures:
The first states had some of the lower unemployment statistics:
Iowa, number 6 for lowest unemployment: 5.7 percent
New Hampshire was number 4 with 5.4 percent unemployed

South Carolina's primary (January 21) should bring out more of the mood affected by unemployment: ranking 42 in lowest unemployment (translation: one of the ten worst states for joblessness) with 9.9 percent unemployed.
Florida's rate (the state has its primary on January 31): 10.0 percent without jobs.
Nevada's caucuses (February 4) likewise has 13.0 percent unemployment, the worst in the nation.

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