Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Alaska
The two major political parties claim that their policies will lead to better outcomes. What does the data show?
At Ballotpedia, we are exploring these issues in a three-part study, Who Runs the States.
This page takes a specific look at how Alaska 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
From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for eight years while there were Republican governors in office for 12 years, including the last 11. Alaska was under a Republican trifecta for the last year 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.
From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Alaska State Senate for 15 years while the Democrats were the majority for six years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Alaska senate with the first two years being Democrat and the final year (2013) becoming a Republican trifecta.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Alaska House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Alaska State House of Representatives for 19 years while the Democrats were the majority for three years. The Alaska State House is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. In the final year of the study (2013), the Alaska House became a Republican trifecta.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were five partisan control changes in Alaska during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Alaska slightly higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Alaska’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 25.76, which puts it at 26th in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Alaska had the highest ranking was 2002, in which it ranked 16th.
- The year that Alaska had the lowest ranking was 2011, in which it ranked 37th.
- The index type that Alaska had the highest ranking in was State and local tax burden, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index types that Alaska had the lowest ranking in were CNBC Top States for Business and State government spending to GDP, in which it ranked 50th.
|Alaska SQLI 1992-2012|
|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||14||18||6|
|America's Health Rankings||30||29||29||27||25||23||26||26||26||22||24||33||26||30||33||32||32||34||30||29||28|
|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||46||32||31||31||25||21||31||31|
|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||50||50||50||50||49||47|
|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||47||47||48||42||42||42||37|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||50||50||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||48||49||49||49|
|Personal Income Per Capita||7||7||6||6||9||9||15||15||15||14||12||14||16||14||14||14||7||8||9||10||10|
|Real GDP per capita||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||1||2||2||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||20||18||17||20||21||12||12||12||13||1|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||50||49||48||50||49||48||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||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||6|
|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||49||49||49||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Alaska 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. The only trifecta in Alaska, a Republican trifecta, occurred between the years 2003 and 2006, as well as 2013. The state never had a Democratic trifecta between 1992 and 2012. Between 1995-2002 and 2007-2012, Alaska had divided government. Alaska never placed in the top-10 or bottom-10 in the SQLI ranking. Alaska’s highest SQLI ranking (16th) occurred during divided government, in 2002, while its lowest ranking (37th) occurred in 2011, also under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 32
- SQLI average with divided government: 23.27
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Alaska
- Alaska State Senate
- Alaska House of Representatives
- ↑ 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.
State of Alaska
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Comptroller | Commissioner of the Department of Revenue | Commissioner of Education | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | Regulatory Commission |