Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Texas
The two major political parties claim that their policies will lead to better outcomes. What does the data show?
At Ballotpedia, we are exploring these issues in a three-part study, Who Runs the States.
This page takes a specific look at how Texas 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, Texas had Democratic governors in office for the first three years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 19 years. Texas is one of eight states that were run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Texas was under Republican trifectas for the last 11 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 Texas State Senate for five years while the Republicans were the majority for 17 years. Texas was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 years of the study.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Texas House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Texas State House of Representatives for the first 11 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 11 years. Texas was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 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 three partisan control changes in Texas during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Texas slightly less than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Texas’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 26.62, which puts it at 27 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Texas had the highest ranking were 2007 and 2012, in which it ranked 11th.
- The year that Texas had the lowest ranking was 1994, in which it ranked 40th.
- The index type that Texas had the highest ranking in was Chief Exec Best and Worst, CNBC Top States for Business, and State Government Spending/GDP, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Texas had the lowest ranking in was Voter Turnout, in which it ranked 49th.
|Texas 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||36||25||13|
|America's Health Rankings||35||35||36||36||38||38||34||34||37||36||34||34||36||39||34||35||40||39||40||42||40|
|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||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|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||2||1||2||1||2||1|
|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||2||4||9||8||7||6||7|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||23||23||24||24||24||22||22||21||19||19||19||19||19||18||17||17||17||17||18||17||15|
|Personal Income Per Capita||33||32||34||32||31||29||29||28||27||29||30||32||33||25||25||24||25||27||25||25||25|
|Real GDP per capita||18||18||20||19||19||13||12||13||15||15||14||16||14||18||18||17||19||18||18||18||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||12||12||13||14|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||1||3||3||2||1||1||2||1||3||1||1||3||2||2||1||1||2||2||1||1||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||7||7||7||7||7||6||6||6||6||7||7||7||7||6||4||6||4||5||6||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||17|
|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||27||25||26||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
Texas was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period. Texas started out with Democratic trifectas but shifted to Republican trifectas by the end of the study.
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Texas 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. Prior to Republican trifectas, which started in 2003, the SQLI rating for Texas stayed consistently in the 30s, except for its lowest ranking of 40 in 1994 during a Democratic trifecta. Within a few years of the Republican trifectas that ranking moved up, and Texas finished 11th, its highest ranking, in 2012.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 36.67
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 18.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 33.63
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Texas
- Texas State Senate
- Texas 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 Texas
|State executive offices||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Secretary of State | Attorney General | Comptroller | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of General Land Office | Chairman of Workforce Commission | Chairman of Public Utilities | Chairman of Railroad Commission |
List of Counties |
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Texas school districts A - L |
Texas school districts M - Z |