Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, North Carolina

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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 North Carolina 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

North Carolina Governor

From 1992 to 2013, North Carolina had Democratic governors in office for 20 years while there were Republican governors in office the two years, including the final year (2013). North Carolina is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. North Carolina was under a Republican trifecta for the final year 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.

North Carolina Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the North Carolina State Senate for the first 19 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last three years. The North Carolina State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 and 2013. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the North Carolina senate with the final year being a Republican trifecta.

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

North Carolina House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the North Carolina State House of Representatives for 15 years while the Republicans were the majority for seven years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift from Democratic to Republican control in the North Carolina House with the final year being a Republican trifecta.

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

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

Partisan control changes

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

North Carolina legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
North Carolina government pie chart 1992-2013.png
North Carolina gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

North Carolina’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 30.43, which puts it at 31 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that North Carolina had the highest ranking was 2011, in which it ranked 11th.
  • The year that North Carolina had the lowest ranking was 2003, in which it ranked 41st.
  • The index type that North Carolina had the highest ranking in was S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 1st.
  • The index type that North Carolina had the lowest ranking in was Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 41st.
North Carolina 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 23 19 27
America's Health Rankings 37 41 32 33 37 37 35 38 38 39 39 39 40 37 35 37 37 37 35 35 33
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 15 13 12 12 12 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 5 3 4 3 2 2 2 3
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 5 6 9 4 3 4
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 3 3 4 5 3 3 4
Govt. Employment Share Population 21 22 22 23 22 22 24 25 23 22 22 20 23 23 23 22 23 23 20 20 22
Graduation Rate 40 39 40 41 41 37 41 40 42 40 43 42 41 40 40 38 39 37 42 36 35
Personal Income Per Capita 31 30 30 29 29 28 30 29 30 31 34 37 35 34 34 36 37 35 36 37 38
Poverty Rate 36 31 33 32 30 23 36 39 36 32 41 44 40 34 38 46 35 43 43 31 N/A
Real GDP per capita 24 24 21 24 27 21 21 20 20 19 21 24 25 23 23 25 27 27 26 26 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 12 11 14 15 15 15 17 15 18 18 16 17 18 19 12 14 13 12 12 12 N/A
State & local tax burden 30 29 30 30 25 27 29 29 28 32 32 30 30 33 34 36 37 35 34 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 17
Unemployment Rate 15 12 9 12 14 12 13 14 22 46 45 42 34 35 34 38 36 44 44 43 46
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 3 6 4 N/A
Voter Turnout 46 48 48 43 43 38 38 37 37 31 31 38 38 47 47 22 22 37 37 11 11
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 38 32 36 30 35

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the North Carolina 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 of the study, North Carolina experienced many years under a Democratic trifecta, from 1993-1994 and from 1999-2010. In 2013, however, this trend switched, and the state experienced a Republican trifecta instead. North Carolina's SQLI rating was in the 30s for most of the years of the study, with its lowest ranking in 2003, finishing 41st. However, in more recent years of the study, the state's ranking improved. Its highest ranking was 11th in 2011 during a divided government.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 30.08
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 30.89
Chart displaying the partisanship of North Carolina 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.