The brutal economies of hard-line Republican districts, in one chart

Forty-five House Republicans have consistently pushed their caucus into high-stakes clashes with President Obama over the past few years -- most recently in the government shutdown, but also during the fiscal cliff and the 2011 debt ceiling standoff. As I report in The Post today, those 45 districts are faring really poorly in the recovery.

Here's one measure: The handful of those districts to the left of the red line were at or below the national average for unemployment in 2012. All the ones to the right were above it. (The last line on the right is the national average, 8.1 percent.)


To be clear: Not all those districts have high unemployment, and many districts with very high unemployment are represented by Democrats or more moderate Republicans. A super-struggling economy in your district doesn't guarantee you'll elect one of these hard-line Republicans.

But the median unemployment rate among those Republicans' districts was two percentage points higher last year than the nation as a whole. And in the district I visited, people blamed Obama squarely for those economic woes.

Update: You can check out an interactive map of unemployment and median income across all congressional districts here.

Jim Tankersley is the editor of Storyline, where he explains complex public policies and illuminates their human impact.
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