The conventional narrative across the media landscape is that America is pretty much split down the middle, with conservatives on one side and liberals on the other.
However, is that true?
This recently released Gallup poll casts some doubt on this widely accepted belief, finding in most states that more people, when asked to choose among a number of labels, actually self-identify as “conservative” than “liberal.”
Just how many states? A whopping 47, to be exact, with Massachusetts, Vermont and Hawaii as the only three liberal outliers.
Now, methodology wise, it must be noted that Gallup was surveying self-identified ideologies, and organizing responses into ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal.’ The word ‘moderate’ was also polled and topped both ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ in many states.
Here is the chart according to Gallup. Note “conservative advantage”:
However, no matter how you slice it, more people in America self-identify as conservative than liberal, although, statistically, liberalism is creeping up.
As far as which states are the most conservative, those are Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana:
Here are the percentages for liberal states:
It also must be noted that these numbers soften considerably when you swap in ‘Democrat’ and ‘Republican.’ That leaves one with the question as to whether or not liberalism and conservatism are words that mean the same thing to different people in different parts of the country. Short answer? Nope:
“This overview of the ideology of states is based on self-descriptions using a general conservative to liberal scale, and thus measures how each American sums up his or her ideological bent. There can be significant divergences in more specific ideological positioning, such as between those who may be conservative or liberal on economic matters, while holding the opposite position on a social matters.” Said Frank Newport, EIC at Gallup.
Results for this poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2014, with a random sample of 177,034 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.