Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Pennsylvania
- 1 Background about the study
- 2 Part 1: Partisanship analysis
- 3 Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
- 4 Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
- 7 Footnotes
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 Pennsylvania 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, Pennsylvania had Democratic governors in office for 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania State Senate for one year while the Republicans were the majority for 21 years. The Pennsylvania State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Pennsylvania was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives for seven years while the Republicans were the majority for 15 years. Pennsylvania 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 six partisan control changes in Pennsylvania during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Pennsylvania higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Pennsylvania’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 24.48, which puts it at 25 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Pennsylvania had the highest ranking were 1999, 2000, and 2004, in which Pennsylvania ranked 19th
- The years that Pennsylvania had the lowest ranking were 1994 and 2012, in which it ranked 30th.
- The index type that Pennsylvania had the highest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Pennsylvania had the lowest ranking in was State/Local Tax Burden, in which it ranked 39th.
|Pennsylvania 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||22||15||20|
|America's Health Rankings||26||26||30||28||27||27||27||28||27||26||27||28||31||28||32||27||30||28||27||28||26|
|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||43||27||37||39||29||32||39||43|
|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||19||23||33||20||12||30|
|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||41||39||41||33||30||26||30|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||2||2||2||2||1||1||4||4||4||3|
|Personal Income Per Capita||17||16||18||19||17||18||16||16||16||18||17||18||18||20||20||20||18||18||18||20||19|
|Real GDP per capita||26||27||30||28||30||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||29||29||30||31||28||28||28||28||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||24||26||26||28||29|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||34||26||36||32||29||23||23||25||26||25||25||24||24||31||31||31||31||29||33||34||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||37||35||36||36||36||35||35||34||34||40||40||40||41||41||38||40||40||39||41||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||35|
|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||26||28||29||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of Pennsylvania 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. Pennsylvania had a Democratic trifecta in 1993, but switched two years later to a Republican trifecta that lasted from 1995-2002. The state had a divided government for many years until a Republican trifecta returned in 2011. Pennsylvania's worst SQLI ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 1994 during a divided government and in 2012 during a Republican trifecta. The state's best ranking, finishing 19th, occurred from 1999-2000 during a Republican trifecta and again in 2004 during a divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 25.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 23.70
- SQLI average with divided government: 25.20
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania State Senate
- Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania
|State executive offices||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor General | Secretary of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor & Industry | Chairman of Public Utilities |