Governing says that South Dakota has the 15th-strongest economy in the United States. We tie with three other states for that distinction: Georgia, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
Who’s beating us? The strongest economies are Massachusetts, Oregon, Delaware, Colorado, and California:
|State||Economy Rank||Electoral Votes|
Governing explains its methodology:
To determine which states are doing well and which aren’t, we looked at six variables from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis: the current state unemployment rate; the improvement in the state unemployment rate over the past year; the per capita state GDP in 2015; the percent change in real state GDP between 2014 and 2015; the percent change in state personal income per capita, from the third quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016; and the percentage growth in year-to-date increases in jobs for 2016.
…For each of the six variables, we ranked the states from 1 to 50, with 1 being the best score for that variable and 50 the worst score. Once we had the 1 through 50 rankings for all six variables, we added up each state’s ranking, double-weighting two of the six measures — current unemployment and percent change in real GDP — that we considered the most important. After adding up each state’s rankings, including the double-weighted ones, we divided by eight to create an overall average ranking for each state. A rank of 1 in each category would produce an average rating of 1.0, while a rank of 50 would produce an average of 50.0. In reality, no state was perfectly strong or perfectly weak. All states had a mix of rankings, with the rankings for some variables higher than others, so the states’ average rankings ranged between 13.3 and 40.6 rather than 1 to 50 [Louis Jacobson, “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: A Ranking of State Economies,” Governing, 2016.08.22].
The top half of states by economic rank each have average of 12.56 Electoral College votes. The bottom half average 8.84 Electoral votes. If Trump’s strength increases with economic disappointment and if voters in each state thus voted by their relative economic satisfaction, Trump would have to win the thirty lowest-ranking states on this chart to reach 270 Electoral votes. Reversing that thinking, Clinton would only need to win the top 22.
The top half includes 16 states that went for Obama in 2012 and 9 that went for Romney. In the bottom half, Romney states outnumber Obama states 15 to 10. States with the good sense to vote for Obama seem to be a little better at building strong economies