Maps: Election 2012 - Most Commented
Two Americas Election Map: Divided by Tech Jobs
Correction: In an earlier version of this graphic Tennessee appeared in both Americas. It is a high-tech state.
In our Two Americas coverage of the 2012 presidential election, we're dividing the nation in two using a variety of numbers to see how each candidate performed in various segments of the economy. In this split, we've divided the nation by technology jobs. We ranked each state based on the number of tech-related jobs using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled by the industry trade group TechAmerica. Then we split the country in two: one half with lots of tech jobs and one half with few to see which candidate would have carried the vote. Using this data, Romney won the electoral college in the country with fewer tech jobs -- and President Obama was re-elected by a landslide in an America with lots of tech jobs.
On the right: The top 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) ranked by the number of tech jobs in each state. On the left: The bottom 25 states in terms of tech employment.
Two Americas Election Map: Divided by paycheck
In our Two Americas coverage of the 2012 presidential election, we're dividing the nation in two using a variety of numbers to see how each candidate performed in various segments of the economy. In this split, we've divided the nation by median income, using data from the Census Bureau. Then we split the country in two: one half with the top 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) ranked by median income and one half with the bottom 25 states, to see which candidate would have carried the vote. Using this data, Romney won the electoral college in the country with a lower median income -- and President Obama was re-elected by a landslide in an America with a higher median income.
On the right: The top 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) ranked by median income. On the left: The bottom 25 states ranked by median income.
What runs from Texas to North Dakota? Jobs and GOP votes
Gov. Mitt Romney has won most of the big square states in the Great Plains and Mountain West, according to the Associated Press --Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota.
What do those states have in common?
Unemployment's low: 3.9 percent in Nebraska, 3.0 percent in North Dakota -- unthinkably low if you live in some of the states still running double-digit rates like California, Nevada, and Rhode Island.
Ag has weathered the Great Recession relatively well in the Midwest. And another big thing in those big Western states? Energy production -- oil, coal, and especially natural gas. Less job anxiety, more growth, and a lot of votes for Romney.
View the Marketplace Two Americas electoral map for the latest election results. We've divided the country into two nations: one with an unemployment rate above 8 percent and one with an unemployment rate below 8 percent. View the results.
Minimum wage laws reflect political map
Gov. Mitt Romney has won eight states at this point of the night, according to the Associated Press: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Three of them -- Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee -- have no state minimum wage law. That means in those three states, the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour applies, even without a state law.
Georgia sets its minimum at low number, $5.15 an hour; but again, the federal minimum still applies because it's higher than the state wage.
President Obama has taken the vote in higher-wage states: Vermont, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. All of those states set their minimum higher than the federal rate.
At the top: Vermont, at $8.46 an hour. And the Green Mountain state was called for Obama about a minute after the polls closed.
Jobs map can reflect political map
Few were seriously expecting New England to do anything than go for President Obama -- he's won Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Turns out, New England's doing better than some other sections of the country. It's got a regional unemployment rate of 7.4 percent.
But look at the rest of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: large chunks also tend to vote Democratic, and they're doing much worse than the rest of the country, with 8.9 percent unemployment. So far, the Associated Press has called Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina for Romney.
Oklahoma and West Virgina like a pro-domestic energy production policy, and they've got plenty of jobs these days. South Carolina's still suffering -- it's lost manufacturing jobs in the recession and the jobless rate's 9.1 percent.
But the South as a whole -- it's just about average for unemployment. And projections are most states in that part of the country are likely to vote for Romney.
West Virginia: Coal, natural gas provide energy for GOP
West Virginia's come out of the Great Recession looking a little better than the country at large -- unemployment's 7.6 percent, and lower in the major metro areas like Charleston, Ashland and Morgantown. What gives?
Coal -- an old fossil fuel that a lot of energy plants and manufacturers will need more of as the economy recovers. And natural gas, which is being pumped in record amounts across Appalachia and the Mountain West. A lot of folks in coal country consider Romney their best friend -- at least when the alternative is President Obama.
Vermont, Kentucky: Jobs and the first two states called
The Associated Press called Vermont for Obama and Kentucky for Romney. What's that tell us?
Nothing surprising, surely -- each state was solidly in the respective candidate's expected column.
Tidbits for your evening: unemployment in Kentucky is higher than the national average of 7.9 percent -- it's 8.4 percent in Kentucky. And Vermont? Even the cows must have part-time or temp jobs -- unemployment's at 5.4 percent.
Happy-states-with-jobs vote for Obama? Stay tuned...