Democrats' midterm exposure to blue state high unemployment

Twenty jurisdictions (states and the District of Columbia) had May unemployment rates at or above the national rate and a 6.95 percent average rate. Of those, the top 11 had Democratic governors (or mayors). Overall, 14 of 20 also had Democratic governors and these states had a 7.2 percent average unemployment rate. If, as the official national rate, the rates in these 20 jurisdictions are really higher when today’s low labor force participation rate is factored in, then the real rates in some would be in double digits.

It was not just in their chief executive that these leaned strongly Democratic. Sixteen voted Democratic in 2020’s presidential election. Fourteen also have Democratic-controlled state senates and state houses.

These 20 jurisdictions’ high unemployment is not just a current condition from a slow recovery. They are a year-long condition. In May 2020, these 20 jurisdictions averaged 13.6 percent unemployment.

Qualitatively, the political exposure from such high and prolonged unemployment is obvious; it is quantitatively too. These 20 jurisdictions contain 230, over half, members of the House of Representatives. Currently, 152 of them are Democrats; only 78 are Republicans.