Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Massachusetts

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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 Massachusetts 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

Massachusetts Governor

From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for the last seven years while there were Republican governors in office for the first 15 years. During the last seven years of the study Massachusetts 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.

Massachusetts Senate

During every year from 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Massachusetts State Senate. The Massachusetts State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 and 2013.

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

Massachusetts House of Representatives

During every year from 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The Massachusetts State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 and 2013.

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 Massachusetts, the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

Partisan control changes

There was one partisan control change in Massachusetts during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Massachusetts below the average.

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Massachusetts’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 9.19, which puts it at 9 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The years that Massachusetts had the highest ranking were 1996 and 2000, in which it ranked 3rd.
  • The year that Massachusetts had the lowest ranking was 2006, in which it ranked 24th.
  • The index type that Massachusetts had the highest ranking in was Personal Income Per Capita, in which it ranked 3rd.
  • The index type that Massachusetts had the lowest ranking in was Chief Exec Best and Worst, in which it ranked 48th.
Massachusetts 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 19 30 19
America's Health Rankings 9 10 9 8 8 7 8 5 5 5 4 6 7 7 7 7 7 3 2 7 4
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 47 47 45 43 42 38 37 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 48 48 48 47 46 46 45 47
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 12 15 8 5 6 28
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 37 36 36 34 16 18 17
Govt. Employment Share Population 6 6 5 7 9 11 11 11 9 9 5 5 5 5 7 8 8 7 9 10 12
Graduation Rate 21 12 17 18 17 15 16 15 16 15 13 12 12 16 27 18 22 18 14 14 8
Personal Income Per Capita 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2
Poverty Rate 7 13 12 19 12 26 3 28 19 16 20 20 8 14 31 27 21 11 11 8 N/A
Real GDP per capita 7 9 7 5 5 8 6 6 4 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 5 5 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 17 20 21 24 26 26 28 14
State Govt. Spending/GDP 27 29 32 28 26 25 26 23 21 21 19 16 21 22 20 27 24 22 24 23 N/A
State & local tax burden 42 42 43 45 44 43 44 39 36 34 34 38 40 43 37 34 39 41 43 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 42
Unemployment Rate 45 40 35 33 18 16 12 14 3 10 22 31 26 22 36 27 24 27 23 15 16
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 42 38 40 N/A
Voter Turnout 18 11 11 13 13 20 20 13 13 7 7 20 20 13 13 16 16 11 11 8 8
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 18 11 14 9

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Massachusetts 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. Massachusetts had a period of divided government between 1992 and 2006 before electing a Democratic trifecta in 2007. Between the years 1992 and 2004, Massachusetts remained in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking, hitting its highest spot (3rd) in 2000 under divided government. The state had its lowest ranking (24th) in 2006, also under divided government. During the years 2005 and 2006, Massachusetts fell eleven spots in the SQLI ranking under divided government, which was its largest drop in the ranking during the period of the study. The state has never had a Republican trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 14.17
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 7.20
Chart displaying the partisanship of Massachusetts 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.