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30 June 2014

NY Times: Some of the Hardest Places to Live in Georgia Overwhelmingly Vote for Democrats

The New York Times released a report last week that asked the question, "Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.?"

According to the Times, the study was put together by "looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity."

The New York Times then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking.

Quite a few Georgia counties made the list, including the twenty counties --Bibb, Burke, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, DeKalb, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Hancock, Jefferson, Macon, Randolph, Richmond, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Terrell, Warren, and Washington-- having black populations exceeding 50% or more.

Jefferson County, Georgia, with a black population of 54.4%, earned the dubious distinction of being one of the hardest places to live in America.

With a median income of $26,612, a 13.9% unemployment rate, and only 8.7% of residents saying they finished college, Jefferson County is near the top of the New York Times' list of "Hardest Places to live in America."

Looking at the most recent election results, in 2012, Jefferson County gave 58.36% of its vote to Barack Obama and 55.27% of its vote to Roy Barnes in 2010. Both are Democrats.

Below is a table showing the Democrat performance in the races for President and Governor over the last four General Elections. The average Democrat performance in the 20 Georgia counties with majority black populations is 60.25%

2012
General Election
2010
General Election
2008
General Election
2006
General Election
Average
Democrat Performance
Bibb59.54%56.59%58.67%45.68%55.12%
Burke55.19%53.14%54.30%46.62%52.31%
Calhoun59.30%62.19%60.67%61.62%60.95%
Clay61.44%58.57%61.04%59.75%60.20%
Clayton84.67%79.51%82.93%68.05%78.79%
DeKalb77.63%74.33%78.86%64.42%73.81%
Dooly53.11%54.83%51.38%49.11%52.11%
Dougherty69.24%65.57%67.21%64.87%66.72%
Early51.60%51.85%48.72%45.97%49.54%
Hancock80.88%78.00%81.30%73.14%78.33%
Jefferson58.36%55.27%57.35%49.12%55.03%
Macon67.09%64.61%65.23%56.71%63.41%
Randolph57.84%55.86%56.98%53.93%56.90%
Richmond66.39%61.17%65.60%49.89%60.76%
Sumter53.77%52.34%52.66%48.07%51.71%
Talbot64.84%62.36%64.01%57.38%62.15%
Taliaferro66.04%67.85%64.95%61.40%65.06%
Terrell57.73%54.10%56.57%54.76%55.79%
Warren60.51%55.58%58.38%47.37%55.46%
Washington53.46%49.52%51.89%48.31%50.80%
Average
Democrat Performance
62.90%60.66%61.94%55.31%60.25%

(Data provided by the Georgia Secretary of State)

The current national unemployment rate is 6.3%. The current Georgia unemployment rate is 7.2%

In these twenty Georgia counties, with majority black populations that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, unemployment is higher than either the state or the national rate.

The following table was constructed using the 2010 Census and unemployment data from the Georgia Department of Labor, for the month of May:


County

Black Population 
(percent)

Unemployment 
(percent)
Bibb52.1%8.5%
Burke49.5%9.0%
Calhoun61.3%10.8%
Clay60.4%8.8%
Clayton66.1%8.9%
DeKalb54.3%7.6%
Dooly49.9%13.0%
Dougherty67.1%9.4%
Early49.6%7.0%
Hancock74.1%12.8%
Jefferson54.4%12.4%
Macon60.6%13.8%
Randolph61.8%11.2%
Richmond54.2%8.8%
Sumter51.8%11.1%
Talbot59.2%7.8%
Taliaferro59.6%11.1%
Terrell61.2%7.5%
Warren61.7%10.1%
Washington52.7%9.9%

Based solely on numbers, the Democratic Party receives high support in Georgia's twenty, majority black counties, but the black voters there have very little to show for their unflinching loyalty to the Democratic Party.