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Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Delaware

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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 Delaware 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

Delaware Governor

From 1992 to 2013, Democratic governors were in office for the last 21 years while there was a Republican governor in office only for the first year. Delaware is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final five years of the study, Delaware was under Democratic trifectas.

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.

Delaware Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Delaware State Senate. The Delaware State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.

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

Delaware House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Delaware House of Representatives for five years and the Republicans for 17 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 Delaware, the Delaware State Senate and the Delaware House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

Partisan control changes

There were two partisan control changes in Delaware during this period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Delaware lower than the average.

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Delaware’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 9.62, which puts it at 10 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The years that Delaware had the highest ranking was 2003 and 2004, in which it ranked 3rd.
  • The year that Delaware had the lowest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 20th.
  • The index types that Delaware had the highest ranking in were Real GDP per Capita and S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 1st.
  • The index type that Delaware had the lowest ranking in was CNBC Top States for Business, in which it ranked 43rd.
Delaware 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 11 21 11
America's Health Rankings 41 37 39 38 40 32 40 39 40 38 37 36 33 34 27 30 33 32 32 31 31
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 10 13 17 20 22 21 29 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 11 13 10 11 12 12 16 14
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 40 41 42 42 36 43
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 8 11 12 21 20 33 21
Govt. Employment Share Population 14 14 14 13 17 16 16 15 17 16 13 11 11 15 16 16 14 15 15 17 16
Graduation Rate 37 40 38 36 39 36 35 37 33 37 39 36 33 39 36 35 37 26 36 37 37
Personal Income Per Capita 9 9 12 13 12 15 13 14 13 13 13 13 14 15 15 18 19 19 22 22 23
Poverty Rate 1 10 4 14 6 12 18 20 11 2 10 2 6 6 11 9 9 19 15 22 N/A
Real GDP per capita 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 N/A
S&P Credit Rating 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 1 1 1 1
State Govt. Spending/GDP 15 17 11 16 19 16 14 20 17 8 12 9 13 17 21 17 21 15 11 12 N/A
State & local tax burden 11 9 10 12 12 14 16 13 11 8 8 13 18 20 25 30 31 34 20 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 32
Unemployment Rate 10 9 11 12 12 12 13 14 14 9 5 6 6 13 12 14 20 22 19 18 23
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 12 21 22 N/A
Voter Turnout 30 36 36 30 30 41 41 16 16 29 29 21 21 27 27 21 21 13 13 16 16
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 35 36 44 47 26

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Delaware 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. For twelve out of the twenty years observed during the study, Delaware ranked in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking. The state dropped out of the top-10 for a period between 1996 and 1999, hitting the rank of 16th before climbing back into the top-10 for eight more years. It again dropped out of the top-10 in 2008 and has remained out of the top rankings since then. Delaware has never had a Republican trifecta, but has had a Democratic trifecta since 2009. In the state’s longest period of divided government, there was a Democratic governor, a Democratic state senate and a Republican state house. Delaware achieved its highest SQLI ranking (3rd) in 2003 and 2004 under divided government, and its lowest ranking (20th) in 2012 under a Democratic trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 16.75
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 7.94
Chart displaying the partisanship of Delaware 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.