Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Nebraska
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 Nebraska 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, Nebraska had Democratic governors in office for the first seven years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 15 years.
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.
With a non-partisan legislature, Nebraska’s Senate was controlled neither by the Democrats nor the Republicans during this 22-year study period.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There was one partisan control change in Nebraska during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Nebraska less than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Nebraska’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 7.19, which puts it at 4 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Nebraska had the highest ranking were 2011 and 2012, in which it ranked 2nd.
- The years that Nebraska had the lowest ranking were 1999 and 2002, in which it ranked 14th.
- The index type that Nebraska had the highest ranking in was CAFR Debt/GDP, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Nebraska had the lowest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 44th.
|Nebraska 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||12||2||3|
|America's Health Rankings||5||9||10||11||15||14||15||17||15||13||15||15||12||13||10||12||9||16||12||18||15|
|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||27||19||22||28||28||22||20||27|
|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||20||22||11||13||10||6|
|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||7||17||10||9||9||8||6|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||43||43||44||44||44||44||42||43||42||42||42||43||42||43||42||43||43||44||44||45||43|
|Personal Income Per Capita||24||29||26||25||21||25||25||24||25||21||23||19||21||21||24||21||21||21||21||19||20|
|Real GDP per capita||17||19||17||18||18||20||22||24||21||21||24||18||21||21||21||19||21||19||19||19||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||1|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||8||8||7||8||8||10||9||12||13||13||14||10||8||7||8||5||5||7||4||2||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||31||32||32||31||29||32||28||24||29||35||35||41||38||36||33||33||28||30||30||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||17|
|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||4||4||3||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Nebraska 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. Because Nebraska has a non-partisan legislature, the state did not have any government trifectas during the years studied. From 1992-1998 it had a Democratic governor and from 1999-2013 it had a Republican governor. Nebraska finished high in SQLI rankings, finishing in the top-10 during both Democratic and Republican governorships. It dipped out of the top-10 from 1999-2004, but returned in 2005. Its highest ranking, finishing 2nd, occurred from 2011-2012.
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Nebraska
- Nebraska State Senate
- Nebraska 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 Nebraska
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