Rick Perry of Texas is the latest in a long-line of governors who tout their states’ performance as evidence of their ability to supercharge the national economy. But how much impact does a governor really have? While we can’t control statistically for every bit of luck, we can at least control for year-by-year changes in the national economy and long-term trends in a state - both of which affect state economies no matter what an individual governor does. With these corrections, it’s a mixed record for three Republican governors running for president: The Perry years look about average for Texas; Mitt Romney’s term looks bad for Massachusetts; and Jon Huntsman’s tenure seems better than the Utah norm.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Is the ‘Governor Effect’ Real?" Boston Globe, September 8. 2011.