"I'm encouraged, especially with the quality of the Republican governors we have," Branstad said, name dropping governors like Nikki Haley, Rick Snyder and Scott Walker.
He referenced Barron's financial magazine's rankings of the best- and worst-managed states.
"If you look at the best-managed states, most of them have Republican governors," Branstad said.
Iowa is currently No. 2 on the list, sandwiched between fellow Republican-run states South Dakota and Tennessee.
"Connecticut was dead last. Illinois was second worst and that's (President Barack) Obama's home state," Branstad said. "There is a difference in leadership and making the tough decisions to balance budgets and not spend more than you take in or raise taxes. That's why we're seeing a difference in our states."
Branstad is confident in the state of Republican politics in Iowa, though 22 of Iowa's 28 delegates voted for Rep. Ron Paul over presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the convention.
"Although there are a lot of new people, they are 100 percent in favor of the Republican ticket," Branstad said after meeting with the delegates for breakfast. "They know we're a battleground state. ... They brought new energy and new people to the party. We want them involved. They're going to go back and help Romney carry the state of Iowa."
Iowa played a role in electing Obama four years ago and Branstad believes many Iowans are regretting that involvement.
"Iowans are not happy with the direction of this country," he said. "They feel like they were misled and betrayed by a president that does not provide leadership, but blames others. We need leadership that sets goals and focuses on jobs and reducing this massive debt."
Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan have announced goals to create 12 million new jobs and reduce the country's debt to 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
Branstad is pleased with those goals and the selection of Ryan as the Republicans' vice presidential candidate.
"What an intelligent, hard worker he is and what a commitment he's made to get this budget under control," Branstad said. "He's the only one in Congress who's made an effort to get the budget under control. ... He will be a great asset in helping Mitt Romney lead this country back."