Two economic basket cases.
Michigan and Arizona: the sites for tonight's GOP primaries.
The two are prime examples of the economic maladies plaguing this country: American competitiveness and the housing crisis.
Arizona: a national leader in foreclosures. According to RealtyTrac, more than four percent of homes in the state are in foreclosure, which is the second highest in the country behind Nevada.
I know. I’ve seen the trouble firsthand having toured the state at the height of the crisis.
Homes shuttered. Grass overgrown. Broken windows. Backyard pools infested with slime and mosquitoes.
Not pretty. Overbuilding and easy mortgage money have taken their toll.
Economists describe 2011 as a "forgettable" year economically but aren't expecting all that much from 2012.
Some say the chances of another recession are 40 percent.
I'm sure Arizonans are ready for some changes because this economy has been devastating for a state that had incredible momentum going into the recession.
Then there's Michigan.
That state's problems started before the recession, and the economic downturn only made them worse.
Take a look the unemployment rate compared to the national average.
At its worst in July and August of 2009, the jobless rate was 14.1 percent while the nation as a whole recorded a jobless rate below ten percent.
The number has improved to be sure, but at a 9.3 percent jobless rate there is a still a ways to go.
It's conventional wisdom that union demands for wages and benefits made Detroit products too expensive and non-competitive here and abroad. And that's true. Union demands unhinged the automakers business models but there was another culprit: Washington.
Government rules required Detroit to build cars that Americans didn't want (small sedans) while buyers favored SUVs and trucks. By the time the recession hit, the automakers were already reeling.
When I traveled there four years ago, one Detroit neighborhood I visited made Arizona look like a children's playground. Abandoned homes were stripped of anything valuable. Thieves had looted copper and electric wires. Siding was pulled away from homes.
Now, the city regularly bulldozes homes that have fallen victim to the blight. One of the latest is Mitt Romney's childhood home.
Detroit is busily proclaiming that it is back. Crowing about higher auto sales and loudly announcing recovery.
But Michigan had something that Arizona did not: an $80 billion taxpayer bailout. Michigan's growth since 2009 has led the nation's and, according to the Federal Reserve, it will continue to lead all 50 states for the next six months.
Michigan is not completely mended yet, and Arizona has a ways to go. But the two are a sharp contrast.
Two states. Two tales of recession and recovery. And tonight, voters will have their say.