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The importance of successful job creation is repeatedly declared integral to President Obama's re-election chances. But how do GOP challengers--those with executive experience as governors--stack up in terms of creating jobs?

Take a look at the chart above, which we've assembled from National Review's data comparing the various rates of job growth in each of the governors' respective states during their full tenures in office. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will announce his candidacy today and it's worth pointing out that Texas governor Rick Perry has yet to join the race, despite vociferous calls for his participation--and a solid record on job creation.

At a glance Perry and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson appear to be the runaway job creation leaders. Pawlenty's numbers, like everything else about him, could use a little work. Romney's are nothing to write home about. At the same time, there remain plenty of limitations to comparing the job data this way. Johnson, for example, governed between 1995 and 2003, a time period with little overlap between the majority of the current candidates and long before the current recession. Romney left the governorship in Massachusetts before the economic crisis fully set in as well, in 2007.

 

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