New Mexico’s “Blue State Depression”

Stephen Moore (who spoke at an RGF luncheon a few years back) has an interesting article called Blue State Depression. In his article, Moore contrasts the economies of the “bluest” states and the “reddest” states in America.

For starters, notes Moore:

Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years (2004-14). Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.

Now let’s look at the 10 states that had the largest percentage vote for Donald Trump. Everyone of them — Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Idaho — was a net population gainer.

Where does that leave New Mexico? Well, as usual, The Land of Enchantment doesn’t quite fit in. Aside from California and Hawaii, the “bluest” states according to Moore are all relatively high income, high cost, industrialized states with populations centers in the North (read cold weather). New Mexico is a poor western state with plenty of sunshine and great weather. Thus, our population is not falling, but growth is much slower than it is in any mountain state.

We DO have one big thing in common with the rest of those “blue” states: our sluggish economy. In fact, New Mexico is in the unique position of being a poor blue state that never industrialized, certainly not like those Northern states. And, unlike even some of those “blue” states, New Mexico actually got more blue this election by reverting to total Democrat control of the Legislature.

Here's the basic Electoral College map, with states that Clinton won in blue and states that Trump won in red (assuming that Trump's narrow lead in Michigan holds).

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