A national pollster has found that Mississippi is home to the largest percentage of self-identified political conservatives among the states in the U.S., with a slim majority identifying their political views as conservative. Alabama, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming come close to the 50% conservative identification mark, according to Gallup’s latest poll on the subject. The report from the poll said that “Mississippi is the first state to exceed 50% conservative identifiers in the three years Gallup has compiled ideological identification at the state level.”
Vermont, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia showed the greatest percentages of self-identified liberals, according to the survey. It was no surprise to learn that the most conservative states are typically in the South and West. The least conservative states are in the Eastern part of the country and on the West Coast. The top ten rankings make clear that “conservative identification” is much more common than “liberal identification,” with each of the top ten conservative states at or above 45% identification and only the District of Columbia exceeding 31% liberal identification.
The report reveals that Americans nationwide are about twice as likely to identify as conservative as they are to identify as liberal. It also reports that Americans are more likely to say they are conservative than moderate, a trend that displays the power of political propaganda transmitted through the mass media to influence public opinion over time. Not surprisingly, then, conservatives outnumber liberals in every state. Only in the District of Columbia do liberal identifiers exceed conservative identifiers (41% to 18%). Vermont (30.7% conservative to 30.5% liberal), Rhode Island (29.9% to 29.3%), and Massachusetts (29.9% to 28.0%) have the closest state-level division between conservatives and liberals. Gallup concludes:
The conservative political label continues to prevail by a significant margin in most of the U.S. states. Additionally, ideological identification has been largely stable in recent years even though there has been greater change in party affiliation at the state level.
The 2010 elections brought more politicians who label themselves as “conservative” into office at the state level. Some of the results are evident in the approaches state governments are taking to deal with their biggest challenges, such as attempts to cut pay or benefits of unionized state workers to address revenue shortfalls and budget deficits. It has always amazed me that working men and women, as well as retired workers, support candidates who sponsor or support programs that benefit only the folks who are among super rich and huge companies in Corporate America. Voting against their own interest appears to have become a pattern in some states over the past ten years.
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