Political Editors / Jul. 11, 2019

Conservatism Healthier Than Beltway Pundits Believe

The majority of the most popular governors just happen to be Republican governors.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty recently wrote an interesting piece wherein he notes that, contrary to much of the mainstream media’s political assumptions, “conservative ideas and policies are doing just fine beyond the nation’s capital.” As evidence, Geraghty points to the increasing number of states whose Republican governors enjoy positive favorable polling numbers. Even more impressive is that three of the four Republicans with the highest approval rating are governors of blue states — Charlie Baker (MA), Larry Hogan (MD), and Chris Sununu (NH).

The reason Republican governors have been doing so well in blue states, Geraghty theorizes, is due to the nature of conservatism. Rather than seeking to push for massive government-led changes, these Republican governors tend to act more as a check against Democrat excess. Geraghty notes that some Republican governors “support and try to enact policies that are explicitly conservative,” but that “guys like Baker and Hogan act as a conservative check on more liberal state legislators.”

As far as policy goes, conservative tax policies have gained in favorability among the states, as 16 states passed large tax cuts in 2018 alone. These cuts amount to an estimated $1.7 billion in combined savings for Americans in those states.

A final interesting note is that since much of the mainstream media is so focused on the political drama in Washington, state-level policy news is often ignored. And this is where conservatism, outside the hyper-partisan spotlight, most thrives at doing the work of good governing.

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