Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Georgia

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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 Georgia 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

Georgia Governor

From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for the first 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 11 years, including the last 11. During the final nine years of the study, Georgia was under Republican 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.

Georgia Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Georgia State Senate for the first 11 years and the Republicans were the majority for the second 11 years.

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

Georgia House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Georgia State House of Representatives for the first 13 years and the Republicans were the majority for the last nine years.

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

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

Partisan control changes

There were two partisan control changes in Georgia during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Georgia below than the average.

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Georgia’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 28.67, which puts it at 28 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that Georgia had the highest ranking was 2007, in which it ranked 20th.
  • The year that Georgia had the lowest ranking was 1992, in which it ranked 40th.
  • The index type that Georgia had the highest ranking in was S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 1st.
  • The index type that Georgia had the lowest ranking in was Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 49th.
Georgia 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 33 32 34
America's Health Rankings 40 43 38 41 32 35 39 40 39 40 41 41 41 41 41 40 41 43 37 38 36
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 7 8 8 9 8 11 10 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 6 5 6 7 4 7 5 8
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 4 8 10 10 4 9
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 10 15 5 6 8 11 8
Govt. Employment Share Population 28 28 28 27 27 25 23 18 18 18 18 16 16 16 15 13 13 13 14 14 14
Graduation Rate 47 46 46 46 47 49 49 49 50 50 49 49 49 47 49 48 48 47 45 46 45
Personal Income Per Capita 28 28 28 24 25 26 26 27 26 25 28 30 32 27 28 33 36 36 37 39 40
Poverty Rate 42 28 30 25 37 36 33 36 35 36 26 29 33 38 34 37 44 46 47 46 N/A
Real GDP per capita 19 17 18 16 16 18 18 16 17 17 18 22 22 24 26 27 29 30 31 31 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 5 4 6 7 7 8 5 2 4 4 7 7 7 6 6 11 8 6 6 5 N/A
State & local tax burden 23 23 23 19 20 20 20 22 25 21 21 20 20 22 24 23 22 19 18 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 15
Unemployment Rate 24 17 18 18 18 22 22 21 19 16 16 13 18 33 33 31 37 35 39 42 42
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 34 14 12 N/A
Voter Turnout 48 46 46 47 47 40 40 47 47 45 45 41 41 43 43 30 30 34 34 33 33
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 23 24 31 28 31

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

Georgia was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period.

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Georgia 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. Georgia experienced two long periods of trifecta government, both Democratic and Republican, between the years 1992 and 2002 (Democratic) and again between the years 2002 and 2013 (Republican). The state’s lowest SQLI ranking occurred in 1992 (40th) under a Democratic trifecta, while its highest SQLI ranking occurred in 2007 (20th) under a Republican trifecta. Georgia experienced only two years of divided government, in 2003 and 2004, when the state house was under Democratic control. The state experienced its largest jump in the SQLI ranking between 2000 and 2001 (from 33rd to 27th) under a Democratic trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 33.27
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 22.75
  • SQLI average with divided government: 27.00
Chart displaying the partisanship of Georgia 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.