The Political Geography of Housing Misery

A blog about business and economics.
July 19 2012 2:13 PM

The Political Geography of Housing Misery


Foreclosures and housing issues haven't been front and center in the presidential campaign, but they seem likely to come up sooner or later. But housing pain, like electoral votes, isn't distributed evenly across the country. Jed Kolko, chief economist for the real estate site Trulia, has a Housing Misery Index that combines percentage decline in prices from the peak and the percent of mortgages that CoreLogic says are delinquent or in foreclosure. Combine this with Real Clear Politics' classification of the competitiveness of different states and you get the table above.

The upshot here is that housing pain is much less of an issue in Romney's geographical base than it is in the rest of the country. Potentially that could make it easier for Obama to address the issue, as it's generally best to try to focus on issues that unite your core constituents with the people you're trying to reach out to. That said it's tricky to make inferences from places to voters. Arizona "leans Romney" according to RCP and has a lot of housing misery according to Trulia, but are the Romney voters in Arizona experiencing a lot of housing misery or is that concentrated among working class Latinos who favor Obama?

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 11:10 AM Protesters and Counterprotesters at Moscow’s Big Anti-War March
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.