October 22, 2011

RESULTS FROM THE LABORATORIES OF DEMOCRACY:

The Red State in Your Future (Merrill Matthews, 10/21/2011, Forbes)

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 25 state legislatures are controlled by Republicans and 16 by Democrats, with eight split (i.e., each party controlling one house).  There are 29 Republican governors and 20 Democrats, with one independent.  And there are 20 states where Republicans control both the legislature and governor's mansion vs. 11 Democratic, with 18 split (one party controls the governor's office and the other the legislature).

And though we are a year away from the 2012 election, generic Republican vs. Democratic polls have given Republicans the edge for more than a year.  If that pattern holds--and if blue-state leaders refuse to learn from their policy mistakes, just like their true-blue leader in the White House--it likely means there will be even more red states in 2013.

One reason for that shift is that red states are taking fiscal responsibility while many blue states aren't--and it shows.  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bipartisan association of conservative state legislators, recently released its fourth edition of "Rich States, Poor States," by the well-known Reagan economist Arthur B. Laffer, the Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore, and Jonathan Williams of ALEC.

The study looks at factors that affect state prosperity and economic outlook, such as tax burdens and population change.  What's clear is that red or red-leaning states dominate the top positions while blue states have the dubious distinction of dragging in last.  In the economic outlook section, for example, the top 20 states are bright red or lean red, while eight out of the bottom 10 are very blue: New York, Vermont, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Posted by at October 22, 2011 7:56 AM
  

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