Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Virginia
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 Virginia 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, in Virginia there were Democratic governors in office for 10 years while there were Republican governors in office for 12 years, including the last four. Virginia was under Republican trifectas for the last two years of the study period.
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 Virginia State Senate for eight years while the Republicans were the majority for 12 years.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Virginia House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Virginia State House of Representatives for the first four years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 14 years.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were seven partisan control changes in Virginia during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Virginia higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Virginia’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 9.00, which puts it at 7 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Virginia had the highest ranking was 2006, in which it ranked 1st.
- The year that Virginia had the lowest ranking was 1997, in which it ranked 26th.
- The index types that Virginia had the highest ranking in were Forbes’ Best State and S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Virginia had the lowest ranking in was Government Employment Share of the Population, in which it ranked 41st.
|Virginia 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||7||8||9|
|America's Health Rankings||21||20||22||23||22||23||23||19||21||23||22||23||21||23||20||20||21||21||22||23||21|
|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||9||7||9||4||7||4||7||6|
|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||1||2||1||2||1||3|
|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||1||1||1||1||2||2||2|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||44||44||43||42||41||41||41||41||41||41||41||41||41||40||40||40||40||40||40||40||40|
|Personal Income Per Capita||13||12||11||14||14||14||14||13||12||10||11||9||9||6||8||7||8||6||7||8||8|
|Real GDP per capita||15||15||15||15||15||15||14||14||14||9||10||10||11||10||9||12||10||8||9||10||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||3||1||4||5||6||6||8||8||6||6||4||4||4||4||4||4||7||4||3||4||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||24||22||21||24||24||24||27||30||30||26||26||26||25||27||23||28||26||22||21||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||39|
|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||29||22||20||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Virginia 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. During the course of the study, Virginia experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. For over half the years of the study, Virginia was ranked in the top-10. This occurred during a Democratic trifecta, Republican trifectas and divided government. Both its highest ranking, finishing 1st in 2006, and its lowest ranking, finishing 26th in 1997, occurred during divided governments.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 11.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 7.67
- SQLI average with divided government: 9.00
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Virginia
- Virginia State Senate
- Virginia 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 Virginia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of Public Accounts | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Secretary of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Chairman of State Corporation Commission |