Forbes’s recently released list of “The Best States for Businesses and Careers” provides further evidence of the Democratic party’s striking erosion as a party of economic growth and prosperity. Based on their votes in the most recent presidential election, all but three of Forbes’s top-10 states are Republican-leaning, while all but two of its bottom-10 states are Democratic-leaning.
The top-10 states on Forbes’s list — Utah, Virginia, North Dakota, North Carolina, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Iowa — voted for Mitt Romney by an average margin of 14 percentage points. Meanwhile, the bottom-10 states on Forbes’s list — California, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Vermont, West Virginia, Mississippi, Michigan, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Maine — voted for President Obama by an average margin of 13 points. That’s a 27-point swing from Romney to Obama as we move from the top-10 states to the bottom-10 states.
Forbes rated the states based on six factors: “business costs,” “labor supply,” “regulatory environment,” “economic climate,” “growth prospects,” and “quality of life.” Forbes rated 62 percent of Obama’s states as being below average and 63 percent of Romney’s states as being above average. Obama won only 33 percent of Forbes’s top-15 states but 73 percent of its bottom-15 states.
These results are quite similar to CNBC’s list of “America’s Top States for Business 2012,” released earlier this year. CNBC rated Texas (Romney by 16 points) as the top state for business and Rhode Island (Obama by 27 points) as the worst. Obama won only 27 percent of CNBC’s top-15 states but 60 percent of its bottom-15 states. In all, CNBC’s top-10 states went to Romney by an average of 17 points, while its bottom-10 states went to Obama by an average of 6 points — a 23-point swing toward Obama as we move from top to bottom.
With so many Democratic-leaning states being so unfriendly to American business, the question is this: How long can the Democrats survive as the party of government expansion and economic stagnation? Yes, they’re currently in control of the White House and one branch of Congress. But their victory in 2012, when the Republican nominee refused to make the case against them, was a lot narrower than their loss in 2010, when their clear preference for government largess over economic growth took center stage and the American people sent them packing by the dozens.