Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Kansas
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 Kansas 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 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Kansas 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.
From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Kansas State Senate. The Kansas State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican 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.
Kansas House of Representatives
During the first year of the study (1992), the Democratic Party was the majority in the Kansas State House of Representatives while through the last 21 years the Republican Party was the majority. The Kansas State House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were four partisan control changes in Kansas during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was also four.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Kansas’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 19.95, which puts it at 20 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Kansas had the highest ranking was 1992, in which it ranked 6th.
- The year that Kansas had the lowest ranking was 1999, in which it ranked 29th.
- The index type that Kansas had the highest ranking in was CAFR Debt/GDP, in which it ranked 9th.
- The index type that Kansas had the lowest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 42nd.
|Kansas 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||16||9||15|
|America's Health Rankings||10||13||15||15||17||16||19||21||20||18||20||20||17||22||17||25||23||24||23||25||24|
|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||16||14||24||24||21||25||25||23|
|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||16||11||7||11||11||15|
|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||21||20||21||15||10||12||13|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||41||42||42||43||43||42||42||42||43||43||43||42||43||42||43||44||44||43||42||43||42|
|Personal Income Per Capita||22||23||23||26||26||24||23||26||28||23||27||25||25||26||22||23||20||23||23||24||24|
|Real GDP per capita||23||28||27||32||31||28||29||29||30||27||29||28||31||30||29||26||26||26||27||27||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||12||12||12||13||14|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||10||9||15||18||16||18||15||19||20||20||20||18||19||19||18||19||18||19||17||19||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||21||25||29||28||31||29||31||27||26||30||30||32||32||26||27||25||23||27||29||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||26|
|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||36||36||36||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Kansas 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. Kansas has never had a Democratic trifecta, while it has had a Republican trifecta in two separate periods of the study (between 1995 and 2003, and again beginning in 2011). The state cracked the top-10 in the SQLI ranking once in 1992. Kansas’s most precipitous drop in the ranking occurred under divided government between 1993 and 1994, when the state fell nine spots. The state’s largest gain in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, also under divided government. Kansas reached its lowest point in 1999 (29th) under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 20.90
- SQLI average with divided government: 19.09
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Kansas
- Kansas State Senate
- Kansas 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 Kansas
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Wildlife and Parks | Secretary of Labor | Corporation Commission |