Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Hawaii
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 Hawaii performed in the study.
- Over the past 22 years, the Hawaii government has been divided for eight years and under Democratic trifectas for 14 years including the last three years.
- There have been 14 years of Democratic governors and eight of Republican governors during this period.
- The Hawaii legislature was under Democratic control for all 22 years.
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.
Partisan control changes
There were two partisan control changes in Hawaii during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Hawaii lower than the average.
Quality of life results
Hawaii’s average ranking among all quality of life indices was 33. During the 14 years when Hawaii had a Democratic trifecta, the average ranking was 29.46. During the eight years when Hawaii had divided government, the average ranking was 33.88, indicating a slightly better outcome under Democratic trifectas than divided government.
Correlation of partisanship with quality of life
Using a panel data regression with fixed effects, we explored the correlations between Hawaii’s partisanship and the performance of the state relative to other states over time. To indicate partisanship, we used our coding of one to nine (1 to 9) based on the specific combination of party control of institutions outlined in the “Overall Partisanship” section of the main report. The performance of the state was determined by the composite ranking of state “Quality of Life” relative to other states described in the “Quality of Life” section of the main report. In our regression analysis, the “Quality of Life” performance ranking served as the dependent variable and the partisan coding of the government two years prior (i.e., a two-year lag) was the independent variable. We introduced the two-year lag to allow some time for the policies of the party governments to influence state’s performance, although the implementation time for many state policies vary widely. These analyses were not designed to definitively show a causal relationship between partisanship and a state’s performance, but rather to explore trends and encourage further research.
This regression analysis shows no statistically significant, non-zero correlation between the partisanship of the government in Hawaii and Hawaii’s performance in the composite, “Quality of Life” rankings two years later. For more information, see Appendix C: Key Values for Individual State Regressions.
- [Full Dataset on Google Docs]
State of Hawaii
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Director of Finance | State Auditor | Superintendent of Education | Hawaii Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs | Commissioner of Agriculture | Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources | Director of Labor and Industrial Relations | Chair of Public Utilities |