Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Delaware
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 Delaware 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, Democratic governors were in office for the last 21 years while there was a Republican governor in office only for the first year. Delaware is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final five years of the study, Delaware was under Democratic trifectas.
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 Democratic Party was the majority in the Delaware State Senate. The Delaware State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Delaware House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Delaware House of Representatives for five years and the Republicans for 17 years.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were two partisan control changes in Delaware during this period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Delaware lower than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Delaware’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 9.62, which puts it at 10 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Delaware had the highest ranking was 2003 and 2004, in which it ranked 3rd.
- The year that Delaware had the lowest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 20th.
- The index types that Delaware had the highest ranking in were Real GDP per Capita and S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Delaware had the lowest ranking in was CNBC Top States for Business, in which it ranked 43rd.
|Delaware 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||11||21||11|
|America's Health Rankings||41||37||39||38||40||32||40||39||40||38||37||36||33||34||27||30||33||32||32||31||31|
|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||11||13||10||11||12||12||16||14|
|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||40||41||42||42||36||43|
|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||8||11||12||21||20||33||21|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||14||14||14||13||17||16||16||15||17||16||13||11||11||15||16||16||14||15||15||17||16|
|Personal Income Per Capita||9||9||12||13||12||15||13||14||13||13||13||13||14||15||15||18||19||19||22||22||23|
|Real GDP per capita||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||1||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||15||17||11||16||19||16||14||20||17||8||12||9||13||17||21||17||21||15||11||12||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||11||9||10||12||12||14||16||13||11||8||8||13||18||20||25||30||31||34||20||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||32|
|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||12||21||22||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Delaware 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. For twelve out of the twenty years observed during the study, Delaware ranked in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking. The state dropped out of the top-10 for a period between 1996 and 1999, hitting the rank of 16th before climbing back into the top-10 for eight more years. It again dropped out of the top-10 in 2008 and has remained out of the top rankings since then. Delaware has never had a Republican trifecta, but has had a Democratic trifecta since 2009. In the state’s longest period of divided government, there was a Democratic governor, a Democratic state senate and a Republican state house. Delaware achieved its highest SQLI ranking (3rd) in 2003 and 2004 under divided government, and its lowest ranking (20th) in 2012 under a Democratic trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 16.75
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 7.94
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Delaware
- Delaware State Senate
- Delaware 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 Delaware
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Insurance Commissioner | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control | Secretary of Labor | Delaware Public Service Commission |