Conservatives Now Outnumber Liberals in All 50 States, Says Gallup Poll
August 17, 2009 - 10:33 AMSelf-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.
At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.
In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.
Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.”
Thirty-five percent of Americans say they are moderate.
During Republican President George W. Bush’s second term, the number of self-identified conservatives as measured by Gallup dropped, riding at a low of 37% as recently as last year.
According to new data released by Gallup on Friday, conservatives outnumber liberals in all 50 states--including President Obama’s home state of Illinois--even though Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans in party identification in 30 states.
“In fact, while all 50 states are, to some degree, more conservative than liberal (with the conservative advantage ranging from 1 to 34 points), Gallup's 2009 party ID results indicate that Democrats have significant party ID advantages in 30 states and Republicans in only 4,” said an analysis of the survey results published by Gallup.
“Despite the Democratic Party's political strength-- seen in its majority representation in Congress and in state houses across the country--more Americans consider themselves conservative than liberal,” said Gallup’s analysis.
“While Gallup polling has found this to be true at the national level over many years, and spanning recent Republican as well as Democratic presidential administrations, the present analysis confirms that the pattern also largely holds at the state level,” said Gallup. “Conservatives outnumber liberals by statistically significant margins in 47 of the 50 states, with the two groups statistically tied in Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts.”
Massachusetts, Vermont and Hawaii are the most liberal states, even though conservatives marginally outrank liberals even there. In Massachusetts, according to Gallup, 30% say they are conservative and 29% say they are liberal, a difference that falls within the margin of error for the state. In Vermont, 29% say they are conservative and 28% say they are liberal, which also falls within the survey’s margin of error for the state. In Hawaii, 29% say they are conservative and 24% say they are liberal, which falls within the margin of error for that state.
In one non-state jurisdiction covered by the survey, liberals did outnumber conservatives. That was Washington, D.C., where 37% said they were liberal, 35% said they were moderate and 23% said they were conservative.
Even in New York and New Jersey, conservatives outnumber liberals by 6 percentage points, according to Gallup. In those states, 32% say they are conservative and 26% say they are liberal. In Connecticut, conservatives outnumber liberals by 7 points, 31% to 24%.
Alabama is the state that comes closest to a conservative majority. In that state, according to Gallup, 49% say they are conservative and 15% say they are liberal.
In President Obama’s home state of Illinois, conservatives outnumber liberals, 35% to 23%.
Gallup's results were derived from interviewing 160,236 American adults between Jan. 2, 2009 and June 30, 2009.
Even though conservatives outnumber liberals in all 50 states, in 21 of these states self-identified moderates outnumber conservatives, and in 4 states the percentage saying they are conservative and the percentage saying they are moderate is exactly the same.
The two states with the highest percentage of self-identified moderates are Hawaii and Rhode Island, where 43% say they are moderate.
For a ranking of all 50 states by the advantage that self-identified conservatives have over self-identified liberals see the Gallup analysis here.