Since jobs and the economy are key issues in this year’s elections, here are the unemployment rates for 10 states with key Senate races.
Higher than the national average of 5.9%:
Georgia, 7.9%. No incumbent is running.
Alaska, 6.8%. Incumbent Mark Begich (D) is defending his seat.
Kentucky, 6.7%. Incumbent Mitch McConnell (R) is defending his seat.
North Carolina, 6.7%. Incumbent Kay Hagan (D) is defending her seat.
West Virginia, 6.6%. No incumbent is running.
Lower than the national average:
Virginia, 5.5%. Incumbent Mark Warner (D) is defending his seat.
Kansas, 4.8%. Incumbent Pat Roberts (R) is defending is seat.
Colorado, 4.7%. Incumbent Mark Udall (D) is defending his seat.
Iowa, 4.6%. No incumbent is running.
New Hampshire, 4.3%. Incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D) is defending her seat.
In theory, a lower unemployment rate helps the incumbent, because a stronger economy means fewer people are upset with the status quo. By that metric, low statewide unemployment ought to help one Republican incumbent (Kansas) and three Democratic incumbents (Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire). High unemployment would hurt one Republican incumbent (Kentucky) and two Democrats (Alaska and North Carolina). Of course voters are swayed by other factors, too.