## Drug-Induced Deaths and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The drug-induced-death rate (number/1000) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1996 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the drug-induced-death rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's drug-induced-death rate (DIDR) data for 1996 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote +0.165 Republican vote -0.178

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 17% positive correlation with increasing DIDR and the Republican votes had a 18% negative correlation. States with high drug-induced-death rate vote more Democratic than Republican and vice versa.

 This is a plot of the drug-induced-death rate (DIDR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the positive correlation of DIDR with the Democratic vote and the negative correlation with the Republican vote. Note the huge difference between the highest state (Nevada with 15.6 and the lowest state (Nebraska with 2.0).

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for drug-induced-death rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=13.9), ranked 35 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=10.8), ranked 22 of 50 for increasing drug-induced-death rate in 1996.

 U.S. Drug-Induced Deaths 1996 election State Deaths(age adj. Per 100,000) Democrat Republican Rank Nebraska 2 50.3% 39.9% 1 Hawaii 2.7 51.1% 35.0% 2 Minnesota 2.7 35.0% 53.7% 3 Iowa 2.7 43.0% 46.5% 4 Missouri 3 44.1% 49.2% 5 Kansas 3.3 36.1% 54.3% 6 Wisconsin 3.4 44.0% 49.8% 7 Utah 3.4 51.5% 36.8% 8 Arkansas 3.5 43.2% 50.1% 9 Idaho 3.6 47.4% 41.0% 10 Maine 3.7 41.6% 47.1% 11 North Dakota 3.8 53.7% 36.8% 12 Vermont 3.9 45.1% 47.1% 13 Indiana 4.1 45.8% 47.0% 14 Pennsylvania 4.1 33.6% 52.2% 15 Virginia 4.2 47.5% 41.2% 16 Connecticut 4.3 44.0% 48.7% 17 New York 4.4 51.6% 30.8% 18 Kentucky 4.4 41.3% 44.1% 19 Ohio 4.4 48.8% 38.5% 20 Georgia 4.5 40.4% 48.3% 21 Washington 4.7 45.8% 44.9% 22 Montana 4.7 53.4% 31.1% 23 New Jersey 5 52.0% 39.9% 24 Maryland 5.4 36.8% 49.8% 25 Mississippi 5.5 49.6% 39.6% 26 Oklahoma 5.5 48.0% 45.6% 27 Alabama 5.6 43.8% 48.8% 28 Massachusetts 5.8 59.7% 26.8% 29 Colorado 5.9 58.3% 30.0% 30 Illinois 6.1 54.3% 36.8% 31 Louisiana 6.6 52.8% 34.7% 32 North Carolina 6.6 56.9% 31.6% 33 New Hampshire 6.6 51.7% 38.5% 34 Oregon 6.7 48.0% 42.3% 35 Delaware 6.8 44.4% 45.8% 36 Rhode Island 7.2 33.3% 50.8% 37 South Carolina 7.6 53.7% 35.9% 38 Tennessee 7.6 49.2% 40.0% 39 Michigan 8.1 49.8% 37.3% 40 Alaska 8.2 51.8% 36.6% 42 South Dakota 8.4 61.5% 28.1% 43 West Virginia 9.2 51.1% 38.2% 44 Florida 9.9 47.2% 39.1% 45 Texas 10.5 33.3% 54.4% 46 California 10.8 46.5% 44.3% 47 Arizona 11 54.3% 38.3% 48 Wyoming 12.4 43.9% 42.9% 49 Nevada 15.6 49.2% 41.9% 50 New Mexico not available 40.1% 46.9%