Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Hawaii
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.
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
From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for 14 years while there were Republican governors in office for eight years. During the final three years of the study, Hawaii 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.
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Hawaii State Senate. The Hawaii 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 544 Democratic and 517 Republican State Senates from 1992 to 2013.
Hawaii House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Hawaii House of Representatives. The Hawaii 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.
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 below the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Hawaii’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 31.14, which puts it at 33 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Hawaii had the highest ranking was 1993, in which it ranked 11th.
- The years that Hawaii had the lowest ranking were 1999 and 2001, in which it ranked 39th.
- The index types that Hawaii had the highest ranking in were Unemployment Rate and Wellbeing Index, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Hawaii had the lowest ranking in was CNBC Top States for Business, in which it ranked 48th.
|Hawaii SQLI 1992-2012|
|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||10||12||38|
|America's Health Rankings||2||5||3||3||2||2||2||1||2||4||6||5||5||3||4||4||1||4||5||3||2|
|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||47||39||39||38||41||42||43||41|
|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||49||49||49||48||48||49|
|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||42||37||27||39||46||49||48|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||46||45||45||45||45||45||45||45||46||45||45||45||45||45||45||46||46||46||43||44||44|
|Personal Income Per Capita||6||6||7||8||16||16||20||20||22||26||22||23||20||19||19||16||16||16||17||18||17|
|Real GDP per capita||4||4||4||6||9||10||16||17||16||18||17||17||17||16||15||16||16||17||20||21||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||40||41||21||24||26||26||28||29|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||42||44||47||46||47||47||46||46||44||44||44||42||39||39||39||41||41||42||39||40||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||35||33||39||32||41||38||39||35||32||36||36||34||34||35||39||38||35||33||37||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||7|
|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||39||43||46||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Hawaii 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. Hawaii has never had a Republican trifecta, but has had a Democratic trifecta between the years 1992 and 2002, and again beginning in 2011. The interruption of these two periods came in 2003 with a Republican governor. The state’s highest SQLI ranking (11th) came in 1993 under a Democratic trifecta, while Hawaii’s lowest SQLI ranking (39th) in 1999 and 2001, also under a Democratic trifecta. The state saw a precipitous decline in its ranking between 1994 and 1995, falling thirteen spots from 15th to 28th. Between 1996 and 1997, the state recovered in its SQLI ranking by nine spots before dropping to a new low (39th) in 1999.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 29.46
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 33.88
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Hawaii
- Hawaii State Senate
- Hawaii House of Representatives
- 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.
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 |