Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, South Carolina

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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 South Carolina 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

South Carolina Governor

From 1992 to 2013, South Carolina had Democratic governors in office for four years while there were Republican governors in office for 18 years, including the last 11. South Carolina is one of eight states that were run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. South Carolina was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 years of the study.

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.

South Carolina Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the South Carolina State Senate for the first nine years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 13 years.

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

South Carolina House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the South Carolina State House of Representatives for the first three years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 19 years. The South Carolina House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 to 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 South Carolina, the South Carolina State Senate and the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

Partisan control changes

There were four partisan control changes in South Carolina during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting South Carolina equal to the average.

South Carolina legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
South Carolina government pie chart 1992-2013.png
South Carolina gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

South Carolina’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 44.67, which puts it at 45 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that South Carolina had the highest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 38th.
  • The year that South Carolina had the lowest ranking was 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2004, and 2005, in which it ranked 47th.
  • The index type that South Carolina had the highest ranking in was Tax Freedom Day, in which it ranked 4th.
  • The index type that South Carolina had the lowest ranking in was Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 50th.
South Carolina 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 44 45 43
America's Health Rankings 47 48 46 47 48 44 41 45 45 47 47 45 44 43 43 42 45 46 41 45 46
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 34 35 34 33 33 32 31 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 8 12 8 9 9 10 8 7
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 29 29 37 31 37 32
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 27 23 29 25 34 28 22
Govt. Employment Share Population 33 33 31 28 28 28 29 30 29 29 28 27 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 21 24
Graduation Rate 49 48 48 49 50 50 50 50 49 49 50 50 50 50 50 50 49 48 49 49 47
Personal Income Per Capita 43 43 42 40 40 38 39 38 39 41 40 41 43 44 45 45 46 47 46 48 48
Poverty Rate 45 43 29 47 34 29 35 26 33 43 41 33 41 42 25 40 36 29 41 48 N/A
Real GDP per capita 41 40 41 42 42 37 40 39 41 43 43 42 43 45 46 45 47 48 48 48 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 10 10 10 12 12 12 13 14
State Govt. Spending/GDP 39 39 39 35 41 39 38 37 40 42 43 43 43 44 43 44 45 45 43 42 N/A
State & local tax burden 10 12 12 11 13 10 14 15 17 14 14 15 17 15 10 13 10 9 10 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 4
Unemployment Rate 21 37 32 23 38 20 16 25 20 38 39 43 47 48 47 45 45 48 45 45 43
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 25 24 25 N/A
Voter Turnout 50 44 44 49 49 31 31 45 45 40 40 49 49 44 44 40 40 36 36 37 37
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 31 33 35 33 39

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

South Carolina was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period. South Carolina was Republican-dominated during the years of the study but experienced a shift toward much stronger Republican control, resulting in Republican trifectas from 2003-2013.

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the South Carolina 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. South Carolina ranked in the bottom-10 during every year of the study except the most recent. In 2012 it improved, finishing at 38th. The state's worst ranking, finishing 47th, occurred during both divided government and Republican trifectas.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 44.30
  • SQLI average with divided government: 45.00
Chart displaying the partisanship of the South Carolina 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.