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Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Utah

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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 Utah 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

Utah Governor

During every year from 1992 to 2013 there were Republican governors in office for Utah. Utah is one of eight states run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Utah was under Republican trifectas for all 22 years 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.

Utah Senate

During every year from 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Utah State Senate. The Utah State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Utah was under Republican trifectas for all 22 years.

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

Utah House of Representatives

During every year from 1992 to 2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Utah House of Representatives. The Utah 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 Utah, the Utah State Senate and the Utah House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

Partisan control changes

There were zero partisan control changes in Utah during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Utah less than the average.

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Utah’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 18.9, which puts it at 18 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The years that Utah had the highest ranking were 2008 and 2012, in which it ranked 6th.
  • The year that Utah had the lowest ranking was 2002, in which it ranked 29th.
  • The index type that Utah had the highest ranking in was S&P Credit Rating
  • The index type that Utah had the lowest ranking in was Personal Income Per Capita, in which it ranked 46th.
Utah 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 6 6 4
America's Health Rankings 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 2 1 2 4 4 6 5 5 2 7 5 7
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 22 19 12 12 13 14 13 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 13 20 12 15 15 9 9 9
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 3 3 5 8 8 2
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 4 2 2 3 1 1 1
Govt. Employment Share Population 40 40 39 37 36 39 38 38 34 36 35 32 32 32 28 28 25 25 30 31 33
Graduation Rate 10 14 12 13 11 11 12 10 5 4 3 3 7 8 14 9 9 20 25 33 19
Personal Income Per Capita 48 47 46 45 45 42 43 43 43 42 45 46 46 45 44 42 42 44 47 46 46
Poverty Rate 3 13 3 4 3 7 7 1 5 26 16 9 16 6 11 14 2 7 4 10 N/A
Real GDP per capita 43 42 42 40 36 33 32 32 33 32 37 38 39 38 34 32 31 31 30 30 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 29 30 30 29 27 29 29 30 29 28 29 25 29 25 23 22 23 24 22 22 N/A
State & local tax burden 34 36 34 35 34 33 38 41 42 38 38 37 37 37 36 35 36 25 22 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 7 3 5 4 4 5 17 18 17 22 35 27 25 15 2 1 5 19 18 14 10
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 8 9 13 N/A
Voter Turnout 15 29 29 34 34 37 37 34 34 39 39 32 32 45 45 45 45 47 47 38 38
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 1 2 8 5 4

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Utah 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. During every year of the study Utah had Republican trifectas. Its SQLI ranking stayed consistently in the 20s range for the first half of the study, but gradually moved up, bringing it into the top-10 for five of the last six years of the study.

Chart displaying the partisanship of Utah 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.