Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Maine
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 Maine performed in the study.
- Over the past 22 years, the Maine government has been divided for 12 years and under 10 total trifectas.
- Of these 10 trifectas, eight were Democratic and two were Republican which came in the last three years.
- There were eight years of Democratic governors, six of Republican governors, and eight years of other governors during this period.
- The Maine legislature was under Democratic control for 16 years, Republican control for two years, and split control for four 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 six partisan control changes in Maine during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Maine higher than the average.
Quality of life results
Maine’s average ranking among all quality of life indices was 38. During the 10 years when Maine had a trifecta, the average ranking was 36.3. During the two years when Maine had a Republican trifecta, the average ranking was 28. During the eight years when Maine had a Democratic trifecta, the average ranking was 38.38. During the 12 years when Maine had divided government, the average ranking was 33.73. These results indicate a better outcome under either a divided government or Republican trifecta than under a Democratic trifecta.
Correlation of partisanship with quality of life
Using a panel data regression with fixed effects, we explored the correlations between Maine’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 Maine and Maine’s performance in the composite, “Quality of Life” rankings two years later. For more information, see Appendix C: Key Values for Individual State Regressions.
State of Maine
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |