What They Are Saying: U.S. News Ranks Dem Gov John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana Dead Last For Third Straight Year

This week, U.S. News & World Report released its annual “Best States Rankings” of the fifty states and – for the third straight year – Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana came in dead last. These rankings are just the latest sign of how badly Edwards has failed the people of his Louisiana and do not bode well for his already difficult path to re-election as the rankings dominate media coverage around the state. Here are some highlights of recent coverage:
The Advocate noted that in addition to being ranked 50th overall, Louisiana was also ranked last for analyses on crime, opportunity and the environment under Edwards:
“In addition to coming in 50th overall each time the report has been released, Louisiana this year also ranked 50th compared to all others in individual analyses on crime, opportunity and the environment. Other categories scored included the state’s economy (49th), education (48th), fiscal stability (43rd), health care (45th) and infrastructure (48th).”
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report wrote that the rankings represent a troubling trend and may explain why the state’s population is declining:
“For some in the business community, the rankings point to a troubling trend in Louisiana that might explain why the state’s population is declining.”
The Times-Picayune highlighted how even Louisiana’s best category, fiscal stability, was still in the bottom 10, ranking 43rd overall, despite Edwards’ claims that he has improved the state’s fiscal situation:
“Louisiana ranked at or near the bottom in all categories. Fiscal stability was the state’s strongest category ranking (43rd).”
When Edwards reacted to the rankings by abdicating responsibility and attacking their methodology, The Daily Comet criticized Edwards for quibbling with the rankings when he should be addressing the issues they bring up:
“Gov. John Bel Edwards has taken issue with the rankings, pointing out that some of the data used in them is out of date and that the state has made marked improvements that aren’t represented in our poor score.”
“We can quibble about exactly how the scores are compiled, but doing so would squander an excellent opportunity to bring these issues the attention they deserve. We know our roads are in terrible shape and that our schools statewide are in dire need of improvement. We know that we suffer with crime and that our environment is facing difficult challenges.”
Business leaders also pushed back on Edwards’ spin, stating that improving the state’s national standing is “not a complicated formula:”
“Improving the state’s national standing is ‘not a complicated formula,’ Waguespack says, and it starts with creating more jobs and economic opportunity.”
“‘If we have more good-paying jobs, people will want to live here,’ he says. ‘We have to get out of the business of beating up business and the private sector and other good rankings will follow suit. I hope this is a wake-up call.’”