Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Alabama

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Who Runs the States

Main Report Pages
Main PagePart 1Partisanship InfographicPart 2Part 3

Partisanship Results Report (Part 1)
Executive SummaryState Partisanship AnalysisPartisan Control of GovernorshipsPartisan Control of State LegislaturesPartisan Control of State SenatesPartisan Control of State HousesState Government TrifectasOverall Partisan Control: Bright, Medium and Soft StatesChanges of Partisan Domination over 22 yearsYear-to-Year Changes in State Partisan ControlTrifectas and Presidential Election PatternsConclusionMethodologyAppendix AAppendix B

State Quality of Life Index (SQLI) Report (Part 2)
Executive SummaryState Quality of Life Index (SQLI)About the IndexOverall RankingsDramatic Changes from 1st Half to 2nd HalfIndividual IndicatorsMethodologyAppendices

Partisanship and (SQLI) Overlay Report (Part 3)
IntroductionComparing Partisanship and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI) RankingsDescription of the dataTrends and correlationsMethodologyKey Values for Fifty-State RegressionsAppendices
Praise or blame is extended to political parties for the economic, educational, health and other quality of life outcomes that result from the policies those parties enact into law. To better understand which political party enjoys power in each of the states, Ballotpedia has analyzed state government control from 1992-2013 using the concept of a "partisan trifecta." A partisan trifecta is defined as when a state's governorship and legislative chambers are controlled by the same political party.

The two major political parties claim that their policies will lead to better outcomes. What does the data show?

At Ballotpedia, we explored these issues in a three-part study, Who Runs the States.

This page takes a specific look at how Alabama performed in the study.

Background about the study

See also: Ballotpedia: Who Runs the States

Part One examines the partisanship of state government from 1992-2013. Part Two establishes a State Quality of Life Index (SQLI), aggregating a variety of existing state indices into one measurement. Part Three will overlay the two reports, looking for trends and correlations.

Part 1: Partisanship analysis

Alabama Governor

From 1992 to 2013, in Alabama there were Democratic governors in office for 6 years while there were Republican governors in office for 16 years, including the last 11. Alabama was under Republican trifectas for the last three years of the study period.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

Alabama Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Alabama State Senate for 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for three years. The Alabama State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. However, starting with the Alabama State Senate elections in 2010, both legislative chambers took a turn toward the Republican side. Since Alabamans have elected Republican governors since November 2002, the state as of the November 2010 and 2012 elections has had a Republican trifecta.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Alabama House of Representatives

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Alabama State House of Representatives for 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for three years. The Alabama State House is one of 18 state houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Alabama, the Alabama State Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Alabama state government(1992-2013).PNG

Partisan control changes

There were five partisan control changes in Alabama during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Alabama slightly higher than the average.

Alabama legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
Alabama government pie chart 1992-2013.png
Alabama gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Alabama’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 43.33, which puts it at 43rd in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The years that Alabama had the highest ranking were 2005 and 2006, in which it ranked 41st.
  • The years that Alabama had the lowest ranking were 1999 and 2000, in which it ranked 46th.
  • The index type that Alabama had the highest ranking in was Tax Freedom Day, in which it ranked 7th.
  • The index type that Alabama had the lowest ranking in was Real GDP per capita, in which it ranked 46th.
Alabama SQLI 1992-2012
Index 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
24/7 Wall St Best/Worst Governed States N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 39 36 28
America's Health Rankings 46 45 42 39 45 42 46 46 46 48 45 44 46 45 45 45 46 48 45 48 45
CAFR Debt/GDP N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 15 10 12 15 13 14 13 N/A
Chief Executive Magazine Best and Worst States for Business Survey N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 24 25 23 12 14 20 26 21
CNBC Top States for Business N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 37 42 39 43 41 38
Forbes Best States for Business N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 40 35 28 28 25 37 40
Govt. Employment Share Population 34 32 33 31 29 29 28 28 27 27 26 30 29 29 32 33 34 32 33 33 32
Graduation Rate 44 44 44 45 45 44 46 44 44 46 42 44 43 45 43 46 41 44 43 43 43
Personal Income Per Capita 40 41 40 39 41 39 42 42 44 46 44 42 42 41 43 44 43 42 42 42 42
Poverty Rate 40 38 41 48 35 39 38 44 40 45 43 42 48 47 40 42 38 42 42 31 N/A
Real GDP per capita 42 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 46 45 45 45 45 46 45 47 45 46 46 46 N/A
S&P Credit Rating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 22 21 20 18 17 20 21 24 26 26 28 29
State Govt. Spending/GDP 22 23 28 23 30 35 36 36 35 35 33 34 34 33 34 37 36 36 36 36 N/A
State & local tax burden 9 10 9 9 10 9 10 10 12 13 13 8 9 13 13 11 15 10 8 N/A N/A
Tax Freedom Day N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 7
Unemployment Rate 25 29 23 25 17 20 19 28 32 28 26 20 21 10 13 11 23 37 32 32 26
Unfunded Pension Liabilities per capita N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 21 23 23 N/A
Voter Turnout 34 35 35 37 37 25 25 36 36 25 25 39 39 38 38 37 37 24 24 31 31
Well-Being Index N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 39 44 46 45 45

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Alabama state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Between the years 1993-1994 and 1999-2002, Alabama had Democratic trifectas, and since 2011, Alabama has had a Republican trifecta. In every remaining year between 1992 and 2012, Alabama had a Republican governor with a Democratic legislature. In every year of the study, Alabama ranked in the bottom-10 on the SQLI ranking. Its lowest ranking occurred during the Democratic trifectas of 1999 and 2000 (46th), while the state’s highest ranking occurred during the divided government years of 2005 and 2006 (41st).

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 44.33
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 43.50
  • SQLI average with divided government: 42.83
Chart displaying the partisanship of Alabama government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

Additional information

External links

Footnotes

  1. Note: The average rank is compiled by adding up all years of rankings and then dividing by 21 to obtain the average state ranking. This average figure is ranked relative to the rest of the 49 states to derive an overall SQLI ranking.