Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Alaska

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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 Alaska 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

Alaska Governor

From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for eight years while there were Republican governors in office for 12 years, including the last 11. Alaska was under a Republican trifecta for the last year 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.

Alaska Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Alaska State Senate for 15 years while the Democrats were the majority for six years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Alaska senate with the first two years being Democrat and the final year (2013) becoming a Republican trifecta.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Alaska House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Alaska State House of Representatives for 19 years while the Democrats were the majority for three years. The Alaska State House is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. In the final year of the study (2013), the Alaska House became a Republican trifecta.

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 Alaska, the Alaska State Senate and the Alaska House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Alaska state government(1992-2013).PNG

Partisan control changes

There were five partisan control changes in Alaska during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Alaska slightly higher than the average.

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Alaska’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 25.76, which puts it at 26th in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that Alaska had the highest ranking was 2002, in which it ranked 16th.
  • The year that Alaska had the lowest ranking was 2011, in which it ranked 37th.
  • The index type that Alaska had the highest ranking in was State and local tax burden, in which it ranked 1st.
  • The index types that Alaska had the lowest ranking in were CNBC Top States for Business and State government spending to GDP, in which it ranked 50th.
Alaska 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 14 18 6
America's Health Rankings 30 29 29 27 25 23 26 26 26 22 24 33 26 30 33 32 32 34 30 29 28
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 50 50 50 50 50 49 50 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 46 32 31 31 25 21 31 31
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 50 50 50 50 49 47
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 47 47 48 42 42 42 37
Govt. Employment Share Population 50 50 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 49 48 49 49 49
Graduation Rate 38 32 29 31 34 35 38 36 37 35 37 38 40 42 41 40 45 43 40 42 40
Personal Income Per Capita 7 7 6 6 9 9 15 15 15 14 12 14 16 14 14 14 7 8 9 10 10
Poverty Rate 6 3 13 2 5 5 10 7 5 12 7 11 7 13 9 3 4 17 19 14 N/A
Real GDP per capita 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 N/A
S&P Credit Rating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 20 18 17 20 21 12 12 12 13 1
State Govt. Spending/GDP 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 49 48 50 49 48 N/A
State & local tax burden 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 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 6
Unemployment Rate 47 46 47 48 49 50 48 49 50 48 48 49 50 49 48 48 40 21 20 21 22
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 49 49 49 N/A
Voter Turnout 10 7 7 6 6 2 2 2 2 3 3 7 7 11 11 8 8 6 6 29 29
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 11 5 4 4 31

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Alaska 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. The only trifecta in Alaska, a Republican trifecta, occurred between the years 2003 and 2006, as well as 2013. The state never had a Democratic trifecta between 1992 and 2012. Between 1995-2002 and 2007-2012, Alaska had divided government. Alaska never placed in the top-10 or bottom-10 in the SQLI ranking. Alaska’s highest SQLI ranking (16th) occurred during divided government, in 2002, while its lowest ranking (37th) occurred in 2011, also under divided government.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 32
  • SQLI average with divided government: 23.27
Chart displaying the partisanship of Alaska 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.