Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Florida

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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 Florida 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

Florida Governor

From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for 7 years while there were Republican governors in office for 14 years. Florida 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.

Florida Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Florida State Senate for the last 19 years while the Democrats were the majority for one year. The Florida State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, Florida was under Republican trifectas.

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

Florida House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Florida State House of Representatives for the last 17 years while the Democrats were the majority for five years. During the final three years of the study, Florida was under Republican trifectas.

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 Florida, the Florida State Senate and the Florida House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of Florida state government(1992-2013).PNG

Partisan control changes

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

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Florida’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 23.05, which puts it at 24 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that Florida had the highest ranking was 2007, in which it ranked 8th.
  • The year that Florida had the lowest ranking was 1994, in which it ranked 34th.
  • The index type that Florida had the highest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 4th.
  • The index type that Florida had the lowest ranking in was Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 46th.
Florida 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 42 40 42
America's Health Rankings 38 36 37 35 36 30 36 35 34 37 38 38 34 33 37 34 36 36 36 34 34
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 22 25 21 27 22 21 22 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 3 4 3 10 3 6 3 2
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 8 17 28 28 18 29
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 9 7 8 18 26 24 27
Govt. Employment Share Population 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 2
Graduation Rate 48 48 45 47 48 47 46 46 46 44 47 48 46 44 42 44 44 45 44 44 44
Personal Income Per Capita 19 19 20 20 20 20 21 21 21 22 20 22 19 18 18 19 23 26 24 26 27
Poverty Rate 32 41 36 40 36 34 31 34 32 35 32 33 25 19 29 30 30 35 33 28 N/A
Real GDP per capita 34 35 38 37 39 34 34 36 37 37 38 37 36 34 31 34 36 37 38 39 N/A
S&P Credit Rating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 11 11 10 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
State Govt. Spending/GDP 9 10 10 11 12 11 11 9 7 9 5 5 5 10 10 7 9 4 7 9 N/A
State & local tax burden 12 15 16 15 14 11 12 11 10 15 15 16 16 12 9 15 17 20 24 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 21
Unemployment Rate 42 37 39 37 28 31 28 24 25 28 30 18 17 11 10 20 38 42 46 44 39
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 6 7 5 N/A
Voter Turnout 33 23 23 29 29 33 33 26 26 16 16 19 19 33 33 20 20 29 29 14 14
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 29 36 37 42 34

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Florida 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. During the years studied, Florida achieved place in the top-10 in only one year (2007). The state had one Democratic trifecta in 1992, while it has had a Republican trifecta for a total of fourteen years. Florida’s most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, when the state dropped from 8th to 19th. Florida also experienced a significant drop in the ranking between 2009 and 2010.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 29.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 19.00
  • SQLI average with divided government: 29.71
Chart displaying the partisanship of Florida 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.