Want to know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? You might be wise to check their credit score. Credit Karma, an online credit-monitoring service, culled some telling data from its 700,000 users, which suggest that, overall, red states tend to have lower credit scores, credit-card debt and student-loan burdens than blue states.
Washington DC and Mississippi arguably occupy opposing sides of a wide political and cultural spectrum here in the United States. Washington DC is cosmopolitan, wealthy (well, in parts) and well-educated (again); Mississippi is much poorer, rural and less well educated. And, not surprisingly, their finances couldn’t be more different. According to Credit Karma’s data, Washington DC has a higher average credit score (670) and student debt load ($46,408) than all 50 states, and Mississippi has the lowest average credit score (620) and credit card debt load ($4,045) of all states plus DC.
And this dichotomy holds true as you pan out over the rest of the states, according to Credit Karma’s data. On average, blue state Credit Karma users have a credit score of 662, while red state users have an average of 638. Democrats have more credit card debt ($5,830) than Republicans ($5,253), which might be a function of higher credit limits, due to higher credit scores. Who knows.
The bigger gap is between student loan debts. Blue state users have an average of $30,418 in student loan debt, while red state users have $27,478 on average.
It’s not a pretty picture for anyone involved, but it does play into stereotypes we use to make sense of our electoral map.
Credit Karma’s goal, by pulling all this data out was to see if they might be able to predict which direction key swing states might go. Tell us if you can pull anything out of this in the comments:
Well, we’re certainly not qualified to run these numbers, but there they are in all their glory. Not surprisingly for states that are divided down the middle, these numbers tend to split the difference between the two averages. The numbers raise an important and pertinent sociological question, however: do voters vote strictly based on their personal financial situation, or on principle? Mitt Romney seems to be banking on voters revolting against the president due to the economy, but it doesn’t appear things are going in his direction right now.