Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Wisconsin
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 Wisconsin 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, Wisconsin had Democratic governors in office for eight years while there were Republican governors in office for 14 years, including the last three. Wisconsin was under Republican trifectas for the last three 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 Wisconsin State Senate for 11 years while the Republicans were the majority for 11 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Wisconsin senate with all three years being Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Wisconsin House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Wisconsin State House of Representatives for 5 years while the Republicans were the majority for 17 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Wisconsin House with all three years being Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican state houses of representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were nine partisan control changes in Wisconsin during the study period. The average number of changes in the 50 states was four, putting Wisconsin higher than the average.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Wisconsin’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 16.24, which puts it at 13 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The years that Wisconsin had the highest ranking were 1992, 1995, and 1998, in which it ranked 7th.
- The year that Wisconsin had the lowest ranking was 2007, in which it ranked 30th.
- The index type that Wisconsin had the highest ranking in was Unfunded Pension Liabilities Per Capita, in which it ranked 1st.
- The index type that Wisconsin had the lowest ranking in was Forbes’ Best States and S&P Credit Rating, in which it ranked 44th.
|Wisconsin 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||18||16||21|
|America's Health Rankings||6||12||17||10||9||11||9||10||11||16||14||17||11||15||11||11||17||12||18||12||16|
|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||26||29||33||43||42||41||24||20|
|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||33||37||26||29||25||17|
|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||39||44||43||48||43||40||42|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||16||16||16||19||18||18||19||19||20||21||21||20||22||21||20||19||21||18||19||19||19|
|Personal Income Per Capita||23||22||22||23||24||23||19||19||20||19||19||20||22||22||23||26||28||25||26||27||26|
|Real GDP per capita||27||23||24||26||25||25||27||25||25||24||27||25||27||27||27||29||30||29||29||29||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||43||24||26||26||28||29|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||23||25||24||24||25||28||28||29||34||31||32||30||32||30||33||30||32||30||34||33||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||48||49||48||49||49||48||48||47||49||46||46||45||46||45||44||45||46||47||46||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||41|
|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||2||2||1||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Wisconsin 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, Wisconsin experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. The state's SQLI rankings were higher earlier in the study, with its highest ranking, finishing 7th, occurring in 1992, 1995 and 1998 during both Republican trifectas and a divided government. Its lowest ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 2007 during a divided government. The state's rankings began to improve during the most recent years of the study, finishing 13th in 2012 during a Republican trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 21.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 10.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 17.27
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin State Senate
- Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin
|State executive officers||
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