Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Montana
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 Montana 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 1992-2013, Montana had Democratic governors in office for the last nine years while there were Republican governors in office for the first 13 years.
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 Montana State Senate for seven years while the Republicans were the majority for 15 years, including the last five years.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Montana House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Montana House of Representatives for one year while the Republicans were the majority for 17 years, including the last five years.
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 Montana during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Montana equal to the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Montana’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 35.33, which puts it at 39 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Montana had the highest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 23rd.
- The years that Montana had the lowest ranking were 1999-2001, in which it ranked 41st.
- The index type that Montana had the highest ranking in was the Well-being Index, in which it ranked 5th.
- The index types that Montana had the lowest ranking in were Real GDP Per Capita and State Government Spending/GDP, in which it ranked 47th.
|Montana 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||30||27||18|
|America's Health Rankings||19||19||14||17||16||18||16||24||23||24||23||24||24||21||22||19||25||26||25||26||29|
|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||44||37||27||23||27||28||28||28|
|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||34||33||38||36||38||24|
|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||38||42||24||13||24||23||26|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||42||41||41||41||42||43||44||44||44||44||44||44||44||44||44||42||42||41||45||41||41|
|Personal Income Per Capita||44||39||45||47||47||46||46||46||46||44||46||39||40||40||41||40||38||39||38||38||36|
|Real GDP per capita||48||48||48||49||50||47||46||47||48||47||48||46||47||47||47||46||46||45||45||45||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||38||36||36||36||40||41||43||24||26||26||28||29|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||47||47||48||48||48||48||48||48||46||46||46||45||45||43||44||43||44||44||45||45||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||19||14||15||17||11||17||17||12||13||11||11||10||12||8||15||9||12||16||13||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||16||26||27||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Montana 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. Montana had Republican trifectas from 1995-2004. Montana's lowest SQLI ranking, finishing at 41st, occurred during those Republican trifectas, from 1999-2001. The state's two highest rankings came in the final five years while under divided government.
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Montana
- Montana State Senate
- Montana 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 Montana
List of Montana ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Director of the Department of Revenue | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Securities and Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources and Conservation | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Public Service Commission |