Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, South Dakota
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 South Dakota performed in the study.
South Dakota breakdown
- Over the past 22 years, the South Dakota government has been divided for two years and under a Republican trifecta for 20 years.
- Republican governors were in office for all 22 years of the study period.
- The South Dakota legislature was split for two years and under Republican control for 20 years, including the last 19.
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 South Dakota during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting South Dakota lower than the average.
Quality of life results
South Dakota’s average ranking among all quality of life indices was eight. During the 20 years when South Dakota had a Republican trifecta, the average ranking was 8.95. During the two years when South Dakota had divided government, the average ranking was 10.
Correlation of partisanship with quality of life
Using a panel data regression with fixed effects, we explored the correlations between South Dakota’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 South Dakota and South Dakota’s performance in the composite, “Quality of Life” rankings two years later. Notably, South Dakota had the same type of government (a Republican trifecta) for all but two years of the study period. As such, the available data to evaluate the relationship between performance and party control is very limited. For more information, see Appendix C: Key Values for Individual State Regressions.
State of South Dakota
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Director of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |