Midwestern Governors Build Credentials For 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Some potential Republican presidential candidates likely won't be shuffling off to Iowa or New Hampshire as the calendar flips to 2015. They'll be hunkered down in statehouses across the Midwest, drafting budgets and pushing bills through their GOP Legislature.

Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana, Rick Snyder of Michigan and John Kasich of Ohio, all elected after Republicans began taking political control of the middle of the country in 2010, share a general agenda of lower taxes and changes in education.

Should any of these governors join the race for the White House, their state records would become their chief qualification for higher office and might provide some distance from partisan battles in Washington. The governors could also benefit from being in a region rich with swing states.