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Marketplace

A look at the economies of the latest states to vote

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 7, 2016
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An oil drilling rig near Watford City, North Dakota.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The six states holding  primaries and caucuses Tuesday are a mixed bag economically. Some are really hurting.

“North Dakota is the extreme case,” said Howard Cure, director of municipal research at Evercore Wealth Management. North Dakota Democrats hold caucuses. 

Cure said North Dakota’s economy relies heavily on the energy sector. So do New Mexico and Montana. 

As a result: “There were a lot of jobs created because of that reliance and now a lot of those jobs have ceased and there have been layoffs,” he said.

Cure said that makes voters in those states anxious.

Ditto for New Jersey, although voters there are worried about sluggish job growth. In South Dakota, farmers are concerned about falling prices for agricultural products. Growers in California’s central valley are worried too, but Silicon Valley tech workers are very happy.

“California’s economy is really booming,” said Josh Rauh, a professor of finance at Stanford University. “But the gains that we’ve seen have been very unequally distributed.”

Rauh said some Californians resent that inequality and could carry those feelings into the voting booth.

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