Monday, September 1, 2014
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GOP salvation in the states?

A Washington Post piece makes the point that GOP governors are doing better than GOP members of congress. Maybe so. But not in Pennsylvania.

GOP salvation in the states?

The Washington Post carries an interesting piece by former National Repubican Committee chief Ed Gillespie that argues the GOP's salvation lies not in Washington but in the states.

This comes, of course, on the heels of disasterous polling numbers for the Republican brand following the debacle in DC over the debt ceiling, the shutdown, sequestration, etc.

And it's easy to understand national GOP leaders looking for bright spots. I'd only note PA's not among them.

Gillespie, for example, argues that Republican governors are enjoying "remarkable" approval ratings and "getting things done."

Hmmm. Maybe some are.

Gillespie offers as evidence a Forbes listing of the 10 best states for expected job growth. They all have GOP governors. They include Texas, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, Florida, Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Idaho and Oregon.

You can see what very local Republican-run state is not on that list.

He also points to a CNBC list of top states for business, noting nine of the top 10 have Republican governors.

What he doesn't note? The 39th best state for business also has a Republican governor. I assume I don't have to tell you what state and what guv I refer to.

Finally, Gillespie claims "it's no coincidence" that states experiencing a boom in natural gas production are run by GOP governors, and he lists Ohio, Texas and (at last, making one of his lists) Pennsylvania.

But it seems to me natural gas booms take place in places where natural gas is. To credit GOP guvs for such booms (essentially for being in the right place at the right time) is like crediting a life guard for having a sun tan.

Still, I understand Gillespie's effort and I get his point. It's just that it doesn't apply in the great state of Pennsylvania.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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