Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Partisanship Results, Methodology

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

WhoRunsTheStates Badge.png

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 report methodology.


We identified partisan control of each state’s governorship and legislature for each year from 1992 through 2013. To identify the partisan control of each state’s governorship, we used lists of each state’s governors from official and media sources and determined the partisan affiliation of the governor or governors who held the office for the majority of each year. For each year, each state’s governorship was coded as Republican, Democratic, or Other.

To identify partisan control of each state legislature, we used the data found in Michael J. Dubin’s Party Affiliations in the State Legislatures: A Year by Year Summary, 1796-2006 (McFarland, 2007) for the years from 1992 through 2006. We used official and media sources for the years from 2006 to 2013. We cross-checked our data for the years through 2011 with the legislative partisan balance data compiled by Indiana State University’s Dr. Carl Klarner.[1] When one party had majority control in both legislative chambers for most of a given year, the legislature was coded as Democratic or Republican. For example, the North Carolina legislature flipped from Democratic to Republican control after the 2010 election. We coded North Carolina as a Democratic legislature in 2009 and 2010, but Republican in 2011 and 2012. We also identified legislatures as under Split Control when one legislative chamber was run according to a bipartisan power-sharing agreement or by a bipartisan coalition instead of the regular party leadership. Examples include the Virginia Senate in 1995 and 1996 and Oregon House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010. When each party controlled one chamber, the legislature was coded as being under “Split Control.” Nebraska’s single-chamber, nonpartisan legislature was coded as Nonpartisan for the entire 22-year period.

We then combined our gubernatorial and legislative partisanship data to determine during which years, if any, each state government had had a trifecta. When both its governorship and legislature were controlled by the same party, a state was coded as having either a Republican or a Democratic trifecta. When its governorship and legislature were controlled by different parties or when the legislature was under split control, a state was coded as having Divided Government. We did not include Nebraska in the trifecta calculations because of its nonpartisan legislature.

See also

External links