Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Oklahoma

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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 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

Oklahoma Governor

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.

Oklahoma Senate

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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

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.

Oklahoma legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
Oklahoma government pie chart 1992-2013.png
Oklahoma gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

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.[1]

  • 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
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 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
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 28 26 32 20 22 18 17 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 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
Graduation Rate 17 24 24 21 22 18 24 12 26 20 23 20 22 22 24 24 26 21 23 21 25
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
Poverty Rate 44 45 42 44 39 32 37 36 45 43 39 36 18 45 43 36 33 22 35 23 N/A
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
Unemployment Rate 15 18 29 16 10 17 26 18 12 10 16 23 23 20 18 21 6 9 8 6 5
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
Voter Turnout 27 24 24 31 31 36 36 39 39 28 28 36 36 41 41 46 46 39 39 48 48
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 36 39 38 39 39

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
Chart displaying the partisanship of Oklahoma 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.