According to the 2013 edition of CNBC’s annual economic competitiveness study, thirteen of the top 14 best states for business are led by Republican governors. South Dakota topped the list for the first time, garnering the highest score by any state since the study’s inception in 2007. CNBC suggested that South Dakota’s stellar performance was likely due to tax cuts put into place after the state’s 2010 Republican congressional sweep and Dennis Daugaard’s ascension to the position of Governor.
CNBC annually ranks all 50 states on over 50 metrics spanning 10 categories of economic competitiveness, with each state’s categories weighted to consider its own standards based on the frequency of the category in the state’s economic marketing materials.
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In second place was Texas, with Republican Governor Rick Perry, who holds the distinction of the longest-sitting governor in the state’s history. He announced this week that he will not seek reelection after the conclusion of his term next year. Alongside South Dakota and Texas are North Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, and Virginia rounding out the top five finishing states, with the first-ever tie between Utah and Virginia for fifth place.
Of the top 14 state rankings, Colorado was the only state led by a Democratic governor. The state also has a Democrat-controlled legislature. Of the six last-placing states, four are led by Democrat governors, one by an Independent, and one by a Republican. GOP prospects for the 2016 presidential candidacy, Gov. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) and Gov. Chris Christie (New Jersey) respectively led states with the eighth and ninth worst economic competitiveness rankings.