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Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, West Virginia

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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 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.[1]

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.

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

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

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.

West Virginia legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
West Virginia government pie chart 1992-2013.png
West Virginia gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

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.[2]

  • 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
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 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
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 48 47 48 46 42 42 42 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 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
Graduation Rate 18 18 22 20 17 17 15 18 17 12 16 19 21 29 27 25 25 25 22 22 26
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
Poverty Rate 48 48 46 42 46 42 48 46 44 47 46 48 37 44 44 44 40 38 40 45 N/A
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
Unemployment Rate 50 50 50 49 48 49 50 50 48 38 37 35 29 26 26 23 11 20 25 23 26
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
Voter Turnout 47 47 47 44 44 48 48 46 46 48 48 46 46 46 46 49 49 45 45 49 49
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 48 50 50 50 50

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.

Chart displaying the partisanship of West Virginia government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

Additional information

External links

References

  1. Washington Post "A blue states road to red," October 26, 2013
  2. 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.