Red, White and Blue

GOP governors including Walker endure early trials, gird for 2014

CREATED Jun. 3, 2013

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican governors were faced with deficits and angry voters when they took over Midwestern statehouses in 2010.

Now they find themselves in stronger positions as they gear up for 2014 re-election campaigns.

The improved standing of Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Ohio's John Kasich, Michigan's Rick Snyder and Iowa's Terry Branstad is a challenge to Democrats, who have long predicted voters would reject budget cutting and efforts to trim labor rights as GOP overreach.

President Barack Obama carried their states last year, but Democrats are struggling to find strong challengers to these Republican governors.

Victories for Midwestern Republican governors in 2014 could signal whether the party can compete for the region in the 2016 White House race for the first time in decades.