Monday, July 17, 2023

Why Is NC's Governor Considered "Weak"?

For those who watch and study North Carolina politics closely, especially the different branches of state government, most acknowledge that the Old North State's chief executive--the governor--is considered to be one of the 'weakest' governors in the nation. And on WFAE's Charlotte Talks for Tuesday, June 18, ONSP contributor and Western Carolina University political science professor Dr. Christopher Cooper will join a discussion about the Tar Heel governor and its impact on state government and politics.

As some background, looking at each of the 50 governor's formal institutional powers (such as the number of elected or gubernatorial appointed executive officers; tenure length and re-election opportunity; appointments within six major areas of state bureaucracy; budgetary power; veto power; and gubernatorial party control of the legislature) and creating an overall index for each state, one can see a wide spectrum of formal power held by state chief executives across the country--and notice the very 'light-shaded' state of North Carolina. 

Map created based on data from Table 8-4 of Politics in the American States and updated for May 2023 legislative control
by Michael Bitzer

In fact, North Carolina's governor is currently ranked 50th out of the fifty states in institutional power, as Cooper notes in this blog post.