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Conservatives Greatly Outnumber Liberals in 19 U.S. States
Politics

Conservatives Greatly Outnumber Liberals in 19 U.S. States

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The residents of most U.S. states are more likely to identify as conservative than as liberal in their political ideology. In 25 states, the conservative advantage is significantly greater than the national average, including 19 "highly conservative" states in which conservatives outnumber liberals by at least 20 percentage points. Meanwhile, in six states, there are more liberals than conservatives.

Heat map. The political ideology of the populations of each U.S. state.

Nationally, the conservative advantage in ideological identification is nine percentage points, and reflects a narrowing of the conservative-liberal gap from 21 points in 2004.

These findings are based on aggregated data from Gallup's 2018 tracking poll in which respondents were asked to indicate whether they describe their political views as liberal, moderate or conservative.

States in which the conservative-liberal gap is 20 points or greater are considered "highly conservative." The "more conservative than average" states have gaps of between 15 and 19 points. "About average" states' residents prefer the conservative description by seven to 14 points, and those with gaps of zero to six points are considered "less conservative than average."

The number of states in which more residents identify as liberal than as conservative is down slightly from nine in 2017. Many of the changes are within the margin of error for the state's sample -- states that barely tilted liberal in 2017 barely tilted conservative in 2018 -- so it is unclear how meaningful these changes are.

Mississippi ranked as the most conservative state in 2018, with 50% of residents identifying as conservative and 12% as liberal, for a gap of 38 points. Twenty-nine percent of Mississippians said they are moderate, and 9% had no opinion.

Massachusetts was the most liberal state in 2018, with 35% of its residents describing their political views as liberal and 21% as conservative. Massachusetts was the first state Gallup measured with more liberal than conservative identifiers (in 2008) and has been the state most consistently leaning more liberal than conservative.

The full results for each state follow.

State Ideological Identification, 2018
Conservative Moderate Liberal Conservative advantage N
% % % Pct. pts.
Mississippi 50 29 12 38 666
Alabama 46 34 14 32 1,275
South Dakota 44 37 13 31 303
Louisiana 43 35 15 28 1,117
Wyoming 46 31 18 28 286
West Virginia 45 31 17 28 445
Tennessee 43 34 17 26 1,692
Arkansas 41 38 15 26 758
Utah 41 40 15 26 952
South Carolina 41 37 16 25 1,262
Oklahoma 43 35 18 25 1,073
Idaho 40 37 17 23 591
Alaska 40 38 17 23 232
Indiana 39 38 17 22 1,575
Kansas 39 38 18 21 746
Montana 39 38 18 21 427
North Dakota 39 41 18 21 241
Missouri 41 34 20 21 1,532
Georgia 39 35 19 20 2,214
Kentucky 39 35 20 19 1,124
Texas 38 36 20 18 5,898
New Mexico 38 37 20 18 653
North Carolina 39 33 21 18 2,433
Arizona 37 36 21 16 948
Ohio 37 35 22 15 2,629
Nebraska 36 38 22 14 507
Florida 36 36 22 14 4,709
Iowa 35 39 21 14 825
Wisconsin 35 37 24 11 1,447
Michigan 33 38 23 10 2,319
Nevada 33 38 23 10 647
Pennsylvania 34 36 24 10 3,272
Virginia 33 37 24 9 2,022
Colorado 33 37 26 7 1,549
Minnesota 32 37 25 7 1,507
Delaware 29 43 24 5 250
Rhode Island 29 40 25 4 298
Illinois 31 36 27 4 2,374
Oregon 32 35 28 4 1,316
Connecticut 30 38 27 3 927
New Jersey 29 37 27 2 1,860
Maine 35 29 33 2 412
Maryland 29 39 28 1 1,337
California 29 36 29 0 8,116
New Hampshire 28 36 30 -2 350
New York 27 35 30 -3 4,591
Washington 28 37 31 -3 1,980
Vermont 28 36 32 -4 249
Hawaii 22 45 28 -6 301
Massachusetts 21 38 35 -14 1,623
Based on 2018 Gallup tracking. Data for AK, DE, HI, ND, RI, SD, VT and WY based on combined data from 2018 Gallup tracking and 2018 Gallup Poll Social Series surveys.
Gallup

Editor's Note: The story has been updated to correct the sample size of national adults.

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