The last issue of the Economist had a special report on Texas and California. In short, Texas is cleaning California’s clock. Texas is flourishing due to its business-friendly policies; even in the recession Texas is doing better than most. California is just the opposite. The report’s opening article concludes:
How Texas responds to these forces will determine its future. Get it right, and the state will remain business-friendly and globally competitive, with high employment and a rising standard of living. Get it wrong, and Texas could follow California (which “flipped” from Republican to Democratic control in part thanks to rapid immigration) down the road of high taxes and excessive regulation. This route has bankrupted California and is prompting a net 100,000 people to leave each year. Many of them head for Texas. One simple statistic tells that tale: it costs nearly three times as much to rent a self-drive van for a one-way journey from Los Angeles to Houston as the other way around.
That’s just two states, but National Review has a broader analysis (subscription required). They charted unemployment against political preference (as measured by presidential elections) across the states and found a clear correlation between Democrats and unemployment:
The longer a state has been Republican, the better off it is. The longer a state has been Democratic, the worse off it is.