|# of Households
I know that I keep harping on the housing market as an important issue in the 2008 election. Let’s look at some numbers from RealtyTrac’s first-half of 2007 report, just released on Monday, in the worst 6 states. (ranked by % of households in foreclosure) So that you can get a sense of the possible electoral impact of these numbers, I have also included the margin by which Bush won (or lost) these states, the number of electoral votes that these states have, and the primary date. Some things jump out:
- In the first half of 2007, more houses moved into foreclosure than the number of votes that Bush won by. (Note also, that "households" probably is something like 1.3 adults)
- In Ohio, the number of houses that moved into foreclosure is approximately the same size as Bush’s swing.
RealtyTrac believes that this pace of foreclosures could stay stable or increase over the remainder of the year:
“Despite a slight drop in June, foreclosure activity shows no sign of slowing down,” noted James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Based on the rate of foreclosure activity in the first half of 2007, we could easily surpass 2 million foreclosure filings by the end of the year, which would represent a year-over-year increase of over 65 percent.”
So, if you assume another 6 months as bad as these 6 months (and that the rates stay relatively stable in these states), Florida, Colorado, and Michigan would have a number of foreclosing households greater than the swing of the 2004 election results in those states.
Now, I am not saying that these are all Republican voters. Indeed, many of them will not be. But, by and large, people who think that their incomes will go up tend to vote Republican. In any case, with these large numbers, it is clear that this has the potential to become an election issue. Furthermore, with Nevada, Michigan, and Florida having very early contests, there is a real chance that Presidential candidates will have to take positions on these issues.
Candidates will need a message on this. Maybe they will need policies. In any case, electorally significant numbers of people will be effected by this issue.
If I were really clever and had a message, I might even target these people. After all, you can buy their addresses. In Nevada, we are probably talking about enough numbers to win a caucus.