Template:Who runs the states summary
Politicians of both major parties say that their policies lead to better outcomes for citizens. We decided to gather some data to see if there was any truth to that. Is there a certain type of government that leads to better quality of life outcomes in the 50 states?
This report’s three primary goals are to examine the partisan control of state governments over the past 22 years (1992-2013), to aggregate state quality of life index rankings and create state-by-state and year-by-year averages, and to overlay the results of the two datasets in order to establish whether there are any trends regarding state government control and quality of life.
While we must be careful to distinguish between correlation and causation when analyzing datasets, it is still interesting to highlight some observable results from the research. Some of the questions we considered at the outset included examining which political parties typically governed the states that enjoyed the greatest quality of life. Based on our findings, states with divided governments were most likely to have a better SQLI ranking than states under single-party control. Among those under single-party control, states were more likely to have a better quality of life result under Republican control than Democratic. It is neither a strong nor statistically significant correlation. It is possible that, rather than political parties contributing to quality of life, voters with a certain quality of life may tend to support particular parties or divided government, in which case political control may be determined by quality of life, rather than vice versa.
Additionally, the indicators which we selected may favor some of types of state governments more than others. We encourage readers to take our partisanship data and use it for other research purposes. The indices we chosen are just a sampling of what is available.