The conventional wisdom coming from the 2012 election was the Republican Party is in decline. We lost on messaging, tone and policies that alienated growing minority communities. What that narrative misses is that conservative principles and Republican leadership are thriving in the states, providing the way forward for the GOP.
There now are 30 Republican governors, the highest number in 13 years. In 26 states, Republicans hold a majority of the seats in both the House and Senate chambers.
As many in Washington seek to increase the tax and regulatory burden on businesses, Republican leaders in the states are competing to create business-friendly climates to grow jobs. They are balancing their budgets. They are transforming K-12 education to prepare a new generation of skilled and educated workers.
The Southeast is leading a renaissance in American manufacturing. Conservative, pro-growth policies are shifting the major growth corridors to the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Gulf states and the Southeastern industrial belt, according to a major new report for the Manhattan Institute by Joel Kotkin. Boeing Dreamliners now are built in South Carolina. Four of the top six states in Business Facilities’ annual rankings of Automotive Manufacturing Strength are Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. They are home to BMW, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai.
In December, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sasol Ltd., a South African chemical and synthetic fuels company, announced the single largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana history.
Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels used right-to-work legislation, tax reform and regulatory relief to create the fourth fastest private-sector job growth in the nation coming out of the recession. Understanding the need to keep up globally and with his Midwestern neighbors, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder boldly supported a right-to-work law last year that will make his state, the birthplace of organized labor, more competitive.
Texas has a job-creating juggernaut because of its business-friendly climate. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has challenged Gov. Rick Perry in a friendly jobs-race competition. The Florida unemployment rate has dropped below the national average, the housing market is rebounding and tax revenues are increasing without a tax increase.
Elections Election 2012