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Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Partisanship Results, Conclusion

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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 contains the section of the report pertaining to the Conclusion.


Over the past 22 years, it has become increasingly more likely that a state government will be under the control of one party. More state legislatures now have both legislative chambers controlled by a single party than at any other time during these years. Twice as many states have a governor and majorities in both legislative chambers from the same party today as did in 1992. Single-party control of the redistricting process in many states aimed at protecting current legislative majorities seems likely to perpetuate or create even more hyper-partisan state governments. Although voters appear less likely to vote for candidates from the same party in both legislative and gubernatorial elections, a number of states continue to vote differently in state and presidential elections.

How the increase in single-party control impacts implementation of public policy in the states will be tested in the years ahead. Media reports have highlighted the increasingly partisan nature of state governments. Blue states are passing legislation that is more progressive, while red states are implementing policy that is more conservative.[1] As the stark contrasts between the types of government grow, who runs the states will become a more important issue to observe at the state level.[2]

See also

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