## Toxins Released and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The toxin-release rate (pounds per capita) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1997 rates.)

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

I compared different state's toxins-release rate (TRR) data for 1997 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 (lbs/capita) Rate (lbs/mi^2) Democrat vote -0.368 0.265 Republican vote +0.394 -0.096

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 37% negative correlation with increasing TRRC (lbs/capita) and the Republican votes had a 39% positive correlation. States with high toxin-release rate per capita voted much more Republican than Democratic. However, the lbs/area release rate correlations are flipped: States with high toxin-release rate per area (TRRA) voted more Democratic than Republican.

 This is a plot of the toxins-release rate (TRRC) 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 TRRC with the Republican vote and the negative correlation of TRRC with the Democratic vote.
 This is a plot of the toxins-release rate (TRRA) 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 TRRA with the Democratic vote and the negative correlation of TRRA with the Republican vote.

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for toxin-release rates per capita between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican. I believe that the main factors are:

• Capitalism rules: Every one should be free to release whatever toxins they wish.
• Minimum government: Government is to stay out of the lives of people, including regulating toxin release.
• Low taxes: Keep the taxes as low as possible, leaving little to pay for toxin-release control projects.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=7.90), ranked 21 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=8.53), ranked 23 of 50 for increasing gun death rate in 1999.

 U.S. toxin releases 1996 election State lbs released Population Land Area lbs/capita lbs/mi^2 Democrat Republican Rank Hawaii 540267 1185497 6,423 0.46 84.11 56.9% 31.6% 1 Vermont 491006 593740 9,249 0.83 53.09 53.4% 31.1% 2 Colorado 5273808 4056133 103,729 1.30 50.84 44.4% 45.8% 3 Massachusetts 8109575 6175169 7,838 1.31 1034.65 61.5% 28.1% 4 California 52153616 33145121 155,973 1.57 334.38 51.1% 38.2% 5 New York 37275675 18196601 47,224 2.05 789.34 58.3% 30.0% 6 Nevada 3787560 1809253 109,806 2.09 34.49 43.9% 42.9% 7 New Jersey 19427322 8143412 7,419 2.39 2618.59 53.7% 35.9% 8 Rhode Island 2364544 990819 1,045 2.39 2262.72 59.7% 26.8% 9 New Hampshire 2928482 1201134 8,969 2.44 326.51 49.6% 39.6% 10 Maryland 13281767 5171634 9,775 2.57 1358.75 54.3% 38.3% 11 Connecticut 8780575 3282031 4,845 2.68 1812.30 52.8% 34.7% 12 North Dakota 2325812 633666 68,994 3.67 33.71 40.1% 46.9% 13 Minnesota 22100820 4775508 79,617 4.63 277.59 51.1% 35.0% 14 Delaware 3762862 753538 1,955 4.99 1924.74 51.8% 36.6% 15 Washington 28953141 5756361 66,581 5.03 434.86 49.8% 37.3% 16 South Dakota 3730917 733133 75,896 5.09 49.16 43.0% 46.5% 17 Florida 86409106 15111244 53,997 5.72 1600.26 48.0% 42.3% 18 Maine 9586549 1253040 30,865 7.65 310.60 51.6% 30.8% 19 Nebraska 12958876 1666028 76,878 7.78 168.56 35.0% 53.7% 20 Oklahoma 26523428 3358044 68,679 7.90 386.19 40.4% 48.3% 21 Georgia 61867573 7788240 57,919 7.94 1068.17 45.8% 47.0% 22 Virginia 58649180 6872912 39,598 8.53 1481.11 45.1% 47.1% 23 Oregon 28788297 3316154 96,003 8.68 299.87 47.2% 39.1% 24 Wisconsin 48538910 5250446 54,314 9.24 893.67 48.8% 38.5% 25 Illinois 114562379 12128370 55,593 9.45 2060.73 54.3% 36.8% 26 Michigan 93654977 9863775 56,809 9.49 1648.59 51.7% 38.5% 27 Arizona 47445509 4778332 113,642 9.93 417.50 46.5% 44.3% 28 Pennsylvania 119117801 11994016 44,820 9.93 2657.69 49.2% 40.0% 29 Kansas 26639034 2654052 81,823 10.04 325.57 36.1% 54.3% 30 Missouri 60289398 5468338 68,898 11.03 875.05 47.5% 41.2% 31 Alaska 6908783 619500 570,374 11.15 12.11 33.3% 50.8% 32 Iowa 34278645 2869413 55,875 11.95 613.49 50.3% 39.9% 33 Idaho 15264017 1251700 82,751 12.19 184.46 33.6% 52.2% 34 North Carolina 93772231 7650789 48,718 12.26 1924.80 44.0% 48.7% 35 Kentucky 49659388 3960825 39,732 12.54 1249.86 45.8% 44.9% 36 Texas 265287724 20044141 261,914 13.24 1012.88 43.8% 48.8% 37 Ohio 153198138 11256654 40,953 13.61 3740.83 47.4% 41.0% 38 South Carolina 57714436 3885736 30,111 14.85 1916.72 44.0% 49.8% 39 Arkansas 39786535 2551373 52,075 15.59 764.02 53.7% 36.8% 40 West Virginia 28920716 1806928 24,087 16.01 1200.68 51.5% 36.8% 41 Indiana 112926145 5942901 35,870 19.00 3148.21 41.6% 47.1% 42 Tennessee 106641343 5483535 41,220 19.45 2587.13 48.0% 45.6% 43 Wyoming 9790124 479602 97,104 20.41 100.82 36.8% 49.8% 44 Mississippi 58101938 2768619 46,914 20.99 1238.48 44.1% 49.2% 45 Alabama 103196031 4369862 50,750 23.62 2033.42 43.2% 50.1% 46 New Mexico 44347511 1739844 121,365 25.49 365.41 49.2% 41.9% 47 Utah 86705010 2129836 82,168 40.71 1055.22 33.3% 54.4% 48 Louisiana 185595468 4372035 43,566 42.45 4260.10 52.0% 39.9% 49 Montana 48493904 882779 145,556 54.93 333.16 41.3% 44.1% 50 Sorted by per area: 1996 election State lbs released Population Land Area lbs/capita lbs/mi^2 Democrat Republican Rank Alaska 6908783 619500 570,374 11.15 12.11 33.3% 50.8% 32 North Dakota 2325812 633666 68,994 3.67 33.71 40.1% 46.9% 13 Nevada 3787560 1809253 109,806 2.09 34.49 43.9% 42.9% 7 South Dakota 3730917 733133 75,896 5.09 49.16 43.0% 46.5% 17 Colorado 5273808 4056133 103,729 1.30 50.84 44.4% 45.8% 3 Vermont 491006 593740 9,249 0.83 53.09 53.4% 31.1% 2 Hawaii 540267 1185497 6,423 0.46 84.11 56.9% 31.6% 1 Wyoming 9790124 479602 97,104 20.41 100.82 36.8% 49.8% 44 Nebraska 12958876 1666028 76,878 7.78 168.56 35.0% 53.7% 20 Idaho 15264017 1251700 82,751 12.19 184.46 33.6% 52.2% 34 Minnesota 22100820 4775508 79,617 4.63 277.59 51.1% 35.0% 14 Oregon 28788297 3316154 96,003 8.68 299.87 47.2% 39.1% 24 Maine 9586549 1253040 30,865 7.65 310.60 51.6% 30.8% 19 Kansas 26639034 2654052 81,823 10.04 325.57 36.1% 54.3% 30 New Hampshire 2928482 1201134 8,969 2.44 326.51 49.6% 39.6% 10 Montana 48493904 882779 145,556 54.93 333.16 41.3% 44.1% 50 California 52153616 33145121 155,973 1.57 334.38 51.1% 38.2% 5 New Mexico 44347511 1739844 121,365 25.49 365.41 49.2% 41.9% 47 Oklahoma 26523428 3358044 68,679 7.90 386.19 40.4% 48.3% 21 Arizona 47445509 4778332 113,642 9.93 417.50 46.5% 44.3% 28 Washington 28953141 5756361 66,581 5.03 434.86 49.8% 37.3% 16 Iowa 34278645 2869413 55,875 11.95 613.49 50.3% 39.9% 33 Arkansas 39786535 2551373 52,075 15.59 764.02 53.7% 36.8% 40 New York 37275675 18196601 47,224 2.05 789.34 58.3% 30.0% 6 Missouri 60289398 5468338 68,898 11.03 875.05 47.5% 41.2% 31 Wisconsin 48538910 5250446 54,314 9.24 893.67 48.8% 38.5% 25 Texas 265287724 20044141 261,914 13.24 1012.88 43.8% 48.8% 37 Massachusetts 8109575 6175169 7,838 1.31 1034.65 61.5% 28.1% 4 Utah 86705010 2129836 82,168 40.71 1055.22 33.3% 54.4% 48 Georgia 61867573 7788240 57,919 7.94 1068.17 45.8% 47.0% 22 West Virginia 28920716 1806928 24,087 16.01 1200.68 51.5% 36.8% 41 Mississippi 58101938 2768619 46,914 20.99 1238.48 44.1% 49.2% 45 Kentucky 49659388 3960825 39,732 12.54 1249.86 45.8% 44.9% 36 Maryland 13281767 5171634 9,775 2.57 1358.75 54.3% 38.3% 11 Virginia 58649180 6872912 39,598 8.53 1481.11 45.1% 47.1% 23 Florida 86409106 15111244 53,997 5.72 1600.26 48.0% 42.3% 18 Michigan 93654977 9863775 56,809 9.49 1648.59 51.7% 38.5% 27 Connecticut 8780575 3282031 4,845 2.68 1812.30 52.8% 34.7% 12 South Carolina 57714436 3885736 30,111 14.85 1916.72 44.0% 49.8% 39 Delaware 3762862 753538 1,955 4.99 1924.74 51.8% 36.6% 15 North Carolina 93772231 7650789 48,718 12.26 1924.80 44.0% 48.7% 35 Alabama 103196031 4369862 50,750 23.62 2033.42 43.2% 50.1% 46 Illinois 114562379 12128370 55,593 9.45 2060.73 54.3% 36.8% 26 Rhode Island 2364544 990819 1,045 2.39 2262.72 59.7% 26.8% 9 Tennessee 106641343 5483535 41,220 19.45 2587.13 48.0% 45.6% 43 New Jersey 19427322 8143412 7,419 2.39 2618.59 53.7% 35.9% 8 Pennsylvania 119117801 11994016 44,820 9.93 2657.69 49.2% 40.0% 29 Indiana 112926145 5942901 35,870 19.00 3148.21 41.6% 47.1% 42 Ohio 153198138 11256654 40,953 13.61 3740.83 47.4% 41.0% 38 Louisiana 185595468 4372035 43,566 42.45 4260.10 52.0% 39.9% 49