Breitbart.com, posted a story, originally presented by Examiner.com on July 6th. The story pointed out the success of new Republican Governors, elected in 2010, at appreciably reducing unemployment. A little research confirmed the factual content and surfaced Democrat Governors also presiding over declines in the unemployment rate (not included in Breitbart’s mention). Further, checking Gov. Data bases confirmed the accuracy of the presented information. However, the fall in unemployment rates led by the new or incumbent Republican governors were a major contributing factor for the drop in the overall US unemployment numbers. President Obama’s reelection was helped since he could cite (and did) the declines. Could Obama gain real benefit from this Republican leadership? The answer is a categorical yes!
A look at updated statistics (through May 2012) combined with US Census Data paints a broader and more illuminating picture. These Republican governors (17 elected in 2010 & 12 more already in office) were responsible for important decreases in the unemployment rate (on average in excess of -1.3% vs. Democrat declines of -.9%. This was sometimes accomplished in the face of political opposition with Democrat legislatures bent on their failure. An updated look at 2011 relative to 2010 as of May 2012 shows:
- 7 of the 11 largest state level reductions in the unemployment rate resulted from Republican leadership; only 11 governors managed reductions larger than -1.0% (some up to -2.4%). Only three Dem governors exceeded 1.0%, ranging from -1.0%--1.30%.
- Three Republican Governors, New Mexico (Susana Martinez), New Jersey (Chris Christie), and Nevada (Brian Sandoval) faced hostile legislatures in both their upper and lower chambers. Some economists have argued these Governors were the difference between a bad unemployment picture and a disaster. For example, in Governor Christie’s case the Democrats in the statehouse have and continue to threaten a State Constitutional Amendment to protect their perceived constituencies, unions, pro-choice advocates, open immigration supporters etc.
A composite two year comparison of 2012 to 2010 indicates an even stronger performance by Republican Governors featuring solid declines; the average Republican decline equaled -1.59% compared to a Democratic decline of -1.39%. The difference of .20%, on the surface appears quite small, yet represents thousands of unemployed people!
Therefore it can be stated, without equivocation, that Republican Governors are helping President Obama appear to be performing better than merited. Nevertheless, the unemployed and the economy need every bit of help they can get! The statistics supporting the above discussion follow and merit scrutiny: