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Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Texas

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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 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

Texas Governor

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.

Texas Senate

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.[1]

  • 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
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 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
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 7 8 8 9 8 7 5 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 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
Graduation Rate 46 43 49 48 46 46 43 42 40 38 38 39 34 30 29 27 35 35 36 35 28
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
Poverty Rate 43 38 47 45 39 46 41 44 47 42 45 46 45 46 45 49 45 45 46 43 N/A
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
Unemployment Rate 36 37 41 40 40 40 37 37 37 37 43 43 41 39 38 25 22 17 21 24 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
Voter Turnout 40 41 41 42 42 46 46 41 41 46 46 47 47 48 48 47 47 50 50 47 47
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 20 23 27 27 26

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
Chart displaying the partisanship of Texas 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.