Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Iowa
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 Iowa 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 12 years while there were Republican governors in office for 10 years, including the last three.
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 Iowa State Senate for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for 8 years. During the final seven years, the senate was controlled by the Democrats.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Iowa House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Iowa House of Representatives for five years while the Republicans were the majority 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 six partisan control changes in Iowa during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Iowa higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Iowa’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 8.14, which puts it at 5 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Iowa had the highest ranking were 2009 and 2012, in which it ranked 1st.
- The year that Iowa had the lowest ranking was 1995, in which it ranked 14th.
- The index types that Iowa had the highest ranking in were 24/7 Wall Street’s Best and Worst Governed States and Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 3rd.
- The index type that Iowa had the lowest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 36th.
|Iowa 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||3||5||5|
|America's Health Rankings||7||7||7||9||13||13||13||12||9||10||9||10||10||9||9||10||16||15||15||16||20|
|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||22||17||18||17||19||17||22||22|
|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||11||9||4||6||9||12|
|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||25||24||22||14||13||10||10|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||26||26||29||32||34||34||34||35||36||37||33||34||34||35||37||37||37||37||36||35||36|
|Personal Income Per Capita||32||34||31||34||28||31||33||33||33||34||32||35||28||33||32||29||27||24||27||23||22|
|Real GDP per capita||32||36||32||31||28||30||33||33||31||34||32||32||24||25||24||20||23||24||23||22||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||10||10||10||1||1||1||1||1|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||20||28||20||20||20||23||27||27||27||29||23||23||20||21||24||20||22||23||20||21||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||38||39||38||40||32||28||26||21||23||24||24||24||22||21||20||16||18||24||27||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||13|
|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||10||11||11||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Iowa 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. Iowa enjoyed a nine-year period in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking between 2003 and 2012, under both divided government and a Democratic trifecta. During the period of the study, Iowa was in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking for twelve out of twenty years. Iowa claimed the top spot in the SQLI ranking twice, once in 2009 and again in 2012. The state’s lowest SQLI ranking came in 1995 (14th) under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 3.50
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 12.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 8.87
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Iowa
- Iowa State Senate
- Iowa 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 Iowa
Des Moines (capital)
|State executive officers||
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