Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, West Virginia
- 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 References
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 West Virginia 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
Since 2000 when George W. Bush carried West Virginia, the state has seen an increasing shift in partisanship in the GOP direction. In 2012, President Obama lost all 55 counties in West Virginia -- the first time ever that a major party's presidential candidate was completely shutout in the state.
West Virginia Governor
From 1992 to 2013, West Virginia had Democratic governors in office for 18 years, including the last 13, while there were Republican governors in office for four years. West Virginia is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. West Virginia was under Democratic trifectas for the final 13 years.
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.
West Virginia Senate
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the West Virginia State Senate. The West Virginia State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. West Virginia was under Democratic trifectas for the final 13 years.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
West Virginia House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the West Virginia State House of Representatives. The West Virginia House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. West Virginia was under Democratic trifectas for the final 13 years.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were two partisan control changes in West Virginia during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting West Virginia less than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
West Virginia’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 48.81, which puts it at 49 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that West Virginia had the highest ranking were 1992 and 1995-2000, in which it ranked 48th.
- The years that West Virginia had the lowest ranking were 2006-2008, in which it ranked 50th.
- The index type that West Virginia had the highest ranking in was Tax Freedom Day, in which it ranked 10th.
- The index types that West Virginia had the lowest ranking in were Voter Turnout and Well-being Index, in which it ranked 50th.
|West Virginia 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||38||39||24|
|America's Health Rankings||48||47||48||48||46||43||44||47||47||44||44||47||48||42||47||46||43||42||43||43||47|
|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||30||44||35||40||37||34||42||34|
|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||44||47||46||46||46||48|
|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||49||50||50||46||41||43||45|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||20||20||21||21||23||22||24||24||28||26||27||28||28||28||31||32||32||34||35||36||37|
|Personal Income Per Capita||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||48||49||49||50||49||50||49||48||48||47||47|
|Real GDP per capita||50||50||50||50||49||48||48||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||50||50||49||49||49||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||38||36||36||36||40||41||43||46||26||26||28||29|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||48||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||49||48||46||46||46||46||46||46||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||17||16||17||18||17||18||18||26||27||25||25||27||27||25||26||24||27||29||32||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||10|
|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||43||40||42||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of West Virginia 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. West Virginia never finished higher than 48th in any year of the study.
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of West Virginia
- West Virginia State Senate
- West Virginia House of Representatives
- Washington Post "A blue states road to red," October 26, 2013
- 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 West Virginia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Schools | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Commission |