Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Vermont

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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 Vermont 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

Vermont Governor

From 1992 to 2013, Vermont had Democratic governors in office for 14 years, including the last three, while there were Republican governors in office for eight years. Vermont was under Democratic trifectas for the last three 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.

Vermont Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Vermont State Senate for 18 years while the Republicans were the majority for four years. The Vermont 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.

Vermont House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Vermont State House of Representatives for 17 years while the Republicans were the majority for five years. Vermont was under Democratic trifectas for the final three years of the study.

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

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

Partisan control changes

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

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

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Vermont’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 22.43, which puts it at 22 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The years that Vermont had the highest ranking were 2003 and 2004, in which it ranked 15th.
  • The year that Vermont had the lowest ranking was 2008, in which it ranked 33rd.
  • The index types that Vermont had the highest ranking in were 24/7 Wall Street’s Best and Worst Governed States and Graduation Rate, in which it ranked 6th.
  • The index type that Vermont had the lowest ranking in was CAFR Debt/GDP, in which it ranked 49th.
Vermont 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 4 7 8
America's Health Rankings 15 11 8 7 12 17 17 16 12 11 10 4 2 2 3 1 4 1 1 1 1
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 43 43 47 48 49 49 49 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 36 43 44 36 36 36 40 38
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 38 39 30 37 44 39
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 30 32 36 47 45 45 44
Govt. Employment Share Population 24 24 25 24 26 27 26 27 30 31 32 37 37 39 39 39 39 39 39 38 39
Graduation Rate 1 11 9 11 7 1 1 5 6 6 7 9 8 7 7 6 4 8 1 2 2
Personal Income Per Capita 30 31 33 33 34 33 32 30 29 24 24 24 23 23 21 22 26 20 19 21 21
Poverty Rate 10 9 1 14 32 10 16 15 22 21 16 5 3 3 2 17 6 5 9 13 N/A
Real GDP per capita 33 33 37 39 40 44 44 43 39 39 39 39 38 39 38 39 38 35 33 33 N/A
S&P Credit Rating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 13 14
State Govt. Spending/GDP 43 42 41 42 42 40 41 43 48 48 45 48 47 49 49 50 49 48 48 50 N/A
State & local tax burden 45 43 44 38 38 42 42 38 38 41 41 39 39 47 47 43 41 40 38 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 38
Unemployment Rate 18 14 11 10 14 15 9 8 3 6 5 9 4 3 14 19 15 12 6 5 4
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 33 32 33 N/A
Voter Turnout 5 13 13 9 9 6 6 6 6 8 8 13 13 4 4 11 11 10 10 23 23
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 27 6 17 12 5

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Vermont 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 the course of the study, Vermont had Democratic trifectas from 1997-2000 and from 2011-2013. Its lowest ranking, finishing 33rd, occurred in 2008 during a divided government. Its highest ranking, finishing 15th, also occurred during a divided government from 2003-2004.

Chart displaying the partisanship of the Vermont 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.