Red states dominate economic competitiveness rankings

Gabe Finger Contributor
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Thirteen of the top 14 best states for business and economic competitiveness are led by Republican governors, according to the 2013 edition of an annual study by CNBC.

Topping the rankings is South Dakota, which received the best score for any state since the study began in 2007. CNBC credits South Dakota’s incredible score to tax cuts enacted after the 2010 Republican sweep of statehouses put Dennis Daugaard in the governor’s residence in Pierre.

Texas, under Gov. Rick Perry, ranked second for business and economic competitiveness. Perry, who took office in 2000 and is the longest-sitting governor in the history of the Lone Star State, announced this week that he will not seek reelection when his current term ends next year.

The only state with a Democrat as governor to finish in the top 14 is seventh-place Colorado, which also has a Democratically controlled state legislature.

The bottom six features four states with a Democrat as governor, along with Independent-controlled Rhode Island, whose governor Lincoln Chafee endorsed President Barack Obama. Brian Sandoval’s Nevada holds the unfortunate distinction of being the only bottom-six state controlled by a Republican.

But all was not rosy for the GOP, particularly for its potential 2016 presidential candidates. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana and Gov. Chris Christie’s New Jersey have the eighth and ninth most hostile business climates respectively.

The study awarded scores based on a point system:

  • Cost of Doing Business (450 points)
  • Economy (375 points)
  • Infrastructure (350 points)
  • Workforce (300 points)
  • Quality of Life (300 points)
  • Technology & Innovation (300 points)
  • Business Friendliness (200 points)
  • Education (150 points)
  • Cost of Living (50 points)
  • Access to Capital (25 points)

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