### Party Control of U.S. Government

#### L. David Roper (roperld@vt.edu)

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We desire a way to quantify the control of the Democrat and Republican parties of the U.S. government.

#### Democrat Control Index

One way is to assign a Democrat Control Index:

• 7=Democratic party has presidency and majorities in both the Senate and House.
• 6=Democratic party has presidency and majority in the House. (The House is assumed more important than the Senate, because it more quickly changes to match the will of the electorate.)
• 5=Democratic party has presidency and majority in the Senate.
• 4=Democratic party has presidency only.
• 3=Democratic party has majority in the House and Senate, but not the presidency.
• 2=Democratic party has majority in the House only and not the presidency.
• 1=Democratic party has majority in the Senate only and not the presidency.
• 0=Democratic party is in minority in both the Senate and the House and does not have the presidency.
 A diagram showing the Democratic Party Control Index: Democratic Control Democratic Party Control Index Republican Control nothing 0 President, House & Senate Senate 1 President & House House 2 President & Senate House & Senate 3 President President 4 House & Senate President & Senate 5 House President & House 6 Senate President, House & Senate 7 nothing

#### Democrat Control Variable

Another way to quantify the control of the Democrat and Republican parties of the U.S. government is to assign a Democrat Control Variable is as follows:

 P= 1 for Democrat president 0 for Republican president
 S= fraction of Senate that is Democratic H= fraction of House that is Democratic

Then define the Democrat Control Variable as:

 DCV= P for S<=¼ & H<=¼ P+S-¼ for H<=¼ & ¼=¾ & ¼=¾ & ¼=¾ & H>=¾

The Excel formula for calculating the DCV is +K6+IF(AND(N6<0.25,O6<0.25),0,IF(AND(N6>0.75,O6>0.75),1, IF(N6<0.25,O6-0.25,IF(O6<0.25,N6-0.25,IF(N6>0.75,O6+0.25,IF(O6>0.75,N6+0.25,N6+O6-0.5)))))).

This assumes that Democrat control for the Senate or House has nill effect when the fraction is below ¼ and does not increase when the fraction is above ¾. It also assumes that full control of both houses of Congress is equivalent to presidency control. A cruder, but easier to calculate, DCV=P+½(S+H) assumes some power accrues even when a fraction is quite low.

The graphs below shows the Democrat Control Index and the Democrat Control Variable for the years 1867-2000.

 The graph above shows the Democrat Control Index and the Democrat Control Variable versus year.
 The graph above shows the refined and crude Democrat Control Variables versus year.

The table below shows the Democrat Control Index and the Democrat Control Variable for the years 1867-2000.

 Years Democrat Control Index Democrat Control Variable Democrat Control Variable (crude) 1867 0 0.004 0.231 1868 0 0.004 0.231 1869 0 0.050 0.225 1870 0 0.050 0.225 1871 0 0.178 0.326 1872 0 0.178 0.326 1873 0 0.050 0.275 1874 0 0.050 0.275 1875 2 0.499 0.500 1876 2 0.499 0.500 1877 2 0.506 0.503 1878 2 0.506 0.503 1879 3 0.578 0.539 1880 3 0.578 0.539 1881 0.5 0.431 0.465 1882 0.5 0.431 0.465 1883 2 0.589 0.545 1884 2 0.589 0.545 1885 6 1.507 1.504 1886 6 1.507 1.504 1887 6 1.510 1.505 1888 6 1.510 1.505 1889 0 0.413 0.457 1890 0 0.413 0.457 1891 2 0.637 0.568 1892 2 0.637 0.568 1893 7 1.618 1.559 1894 7 1.618 1.559 1895 4 1.234 1.367 1896 4 1.234 1.367 1897 0 0.253 0.377 1898 0 0.253 0.377 1899 0 0.245 0.373 1900 0 0.245 0.373 1901 0 0.251 0.375 1902 0 0.251 0.375 1903 0 0.317 0.408 1904 0 0.317 0.408 1905 0 0.208 0.354 1906 0 0.208 0.354 1907 0 0.240 0.370 1908 0 0.240 0.370 1909 0 0.288 0.394 1910 0 0.288 0.394 1911 2 0.540 0.520 1912 2 0.540 0.520 1913 7 1.698 1.599 1914 7 1.698 1.599 1915 7 1.614 1.557 1916 7 1.614 1.557 1917 5 1.535 1.517 1918 5 1.535 1.517 1919 4 1.429 1.464 1920 4 1.429 1.464 1921 0 0.189 0.344 1922 0 0.189 0.344 1923 0 0.424 0.462 1924 0 0.424 0.462 1925 0 0.337 0.419 1926 0 0.337 0.419 1927 0 0.438 0.469 1928 0 0.438 0.469 1929 0 0.281 0.390 1930 0 0.281 0.390 1931 0 0.486 0.493 1932 0 0.486 0.493 1933 7 1.834 1.667 1934 7 1.834 1.667 1935 7 1.959 1.729 1936 7 1.959 1.729 1937 7 2.000 1.773 1938 7 2.000 1.773 1939 7 1.821 1.661 1940 7 1.821 1.661 1941 7 1.801 1.651 1942 7 1.801 1.651 1943 7 1.604 1.552 1944 7 1.604 1.552 1945 7 1.652 1.576 1946 7 1.652 1.576 1947 4 1.401 1.450 1948 4 1.401 1.450 1949 7 1.667 1.584 1950 7 1.667 1.584 1951 7 1.538 1.519 1952 7 1.538 1.519 1953 0 0.469 0.484 1954 0 0.469 0.484 1955 3 0.533 0.517 1956 3 0.533 0.517 1957 3 0.548 0.524 1958 3 0.548 0.524 1959 3 0.802 0.651 1960 3 0.802 0.651 1961 7 1.740 1.620 1962 7 1.740 1.620 1963 7 1.763 1.632 1964 7 1.763 1.632 1965 7 1.858 1.679 1966 7 1.858 1.679 1967 7 1.710 1.605 1968 7 1.710 1.605 1969 3 0.639 0.569 1970 3 0.639 0.569 1971 3 0.626 0.563 1972 3 0.626 0.563 1973 3 0.616 0.558 1974 3 0.616 0.558 1975 3 0.779 0.639 1976 3 0.779 0.639 1977 7 1.781 1.641 1978 7 1.781 1.641 1979 7 1.717 1.608 1980 7 1.717 1.608 1981 2 0.516 0.508 1982 2 0.516 0.508 1983 2 0.578 0.539 1984 2 0.578 0.539 1985 2 0.552 0.526 1986 2 0.552 0.526 1987 3 0.643 0.572 1988 3 0.643 0.572 1989 3 0.648 0.574 1990 3 0.648 0.574 1991 3 0.674 0.587 1992 3 0.674 0.587 1993 7 1.663 1.582 1994 7 1.663 1.582 1995 4 1.449 1.474 1996 4 1.449 1.474 1997 4 1.426 1.463 1998 4 1.426 1.463 1999 4 1.435 1.468 2000 4 1.435 1.468

Bipartisan Conrol Index

Perhaps an interesting aspect of party control is with regard to bipartisan control of the U.S. govenment. To allow such a study we define a Bipartisan Control Index (BCI):

 Control Description BCI President only of either party 3 President & Senate of same party 2 President & House of same party 1 President & House & Senate of same party 0

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