Midwestern Governors Show GOP How to Win

While Republicans inside the Beltway continue to stumble and fumble their way to irrelevancy, Ohio Gov. John Kasich — and other conservative heartland governors — are quietly offering a blueprint for success: competence, consistency and actually creating jobs rather than just talking about it.
June 28, 2013

While Republicans inside the Beltway continue to stumble and fumble their way to irrelevancy, Ohio Gov. John Kasich — and other conservative heartland governors — are quietly offering a blueprint for success: competence, consistency and actually creating jobs rather than just talking about it.

As Republicans look ahead to 2016, they worry most about the capacity of any party leader to navigate a base that is at odds with most Americans on gay rights, immigration and the broader demographic currents reshaping our politics.

There’s an emerging playbook for doing this, and it’s not based on a bunch of phony outreach or “caving” on the party’s principles. Kasich, who on Sunday is scheduled to sign a $2.7 billion tax cut, in addition to an earlier estate tax cut, is one of the chief architects and practitioners.

Mere months ago, Kasich was among the most unpopular governors in the land. Now, he is surging, his approval numbers rising north of 50 percent as his state’s unemployment numbers have dropped. He has antagonized big constituencies with his efforts to make government cheaper and more efficient, cut taxes and slap around union leaders.

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