Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Oklahoma
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 Oklahoma 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, Oklahoma had Democratic governors in office for 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Oklahoma 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 Democratic Party was the majority in the Oklahoma State Senate for the first 15 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last five years.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Oklahoma House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives for the first 13 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last nine years. Oklahoma was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were five partisan control changes in Oklahoma during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Oklahoma slightly higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Oklahoma’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 40.05, which puts it at 41 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Oklahoma had the highest ranking was 2011, in which it ranked 31st.
- The year that Oklahoma had the lowest ranking was 1998, in which it ranked 46th.
- The index type that Oklahoma had the highest ranking in was Tax Freedom Day, in which it ranked 10th.
- The index type that Oklahoma had the lowest ranking in was Unfunded Pension Liabilities Per Capita, in which it ranked 45th.
|Oklahoma 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||32||28||33|
|America's Health Rankings||36||38||41||42||39||41||43||41||44||41||48||43||42||46||44||49||47||49||46||46||43|
|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||18||31||26||21||22||19||11||17|
|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||32||28||23||25||28||23|
|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||19||30||26||20||33||13||9|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||38||38||38||36||36||38||36||37||37||40||40||38||40||41||41||41||41||42||41||42||45|
|Personal Income Per Capita||39||40||43||44||44||44||45||44||42||39||39||40||39||39||37||38||31||34||34||32||32|
|Real GDP per capita||44||44||46||46||46||39||42||44||43||40||42||43||42||43||41||40||39||38||37||37||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||22||21||20||18||17||20||21||12||12||12||13||14|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||38||31||35||33||32||30||31||31||24||34||36||35||30||29||30||29||25||31||31||30||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||13||19||19||20||22||22||25||28||24||23||23||19||19||18||19||14||11||14||15||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||10|
|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||47||47||39||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Oklahoma 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, Oklahoma had both Democratic and Republican trifectas. Its Democratic trifectas occurred from 1992-1994 and from 2003-2004. Its Republican trifectas occurred from 2011-2013. Oklahoma's SQLI ranking was in the bottom-10 for many years of the study, finishing 44th in 1994 at its lowest. In more recent years of the study, however, the state's ranking improved, finishing 31st in 2011 at its highest. Oklahoma's worst ranking occurred during a Democratic trifecta, and its best occurred during a Republican trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 41.80
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 31.50
- SQLI average with divided government: 40.64
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Oklahoma
- Oklahoma State Senate
- Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma
Oklahoma City (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor and Inspector | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Wildlife Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Commissioner of Corporations |