Monday, February 4, 2013

Congratulations Alabama

Alabama was recently named the most conservative state based on polling of residents of states throughout the country.  Sweet home Alabama!  Thank God.  Alabama took the title from Mississippi which was named the bastion of conservatism in 2011.  But the polling must be met with some skepticism when it concludes Alaska is the most moderate.  Huh?  And California leans conservative?  In which world are these residents operating?  Obviously, polling is always flawed and statistics can be manipulated to tell any story desired.  They certainly didn't poll me.  Were you polled?  But these residents who were evidently among the select few need to find a dictionary and check out the definition of "conservative".  There are obviously many Californians in self-denial.  I am left to wonder how many of these supposed conservatives and moderates voted the Obama-Biden ticket in the last Presidential election?  But of course the conservatives are framed as doomed relics soon to be relegated to the minority with the onslaught of Obama moderation??  I am also trying to figure out how Massachusetts can be among the most liberal and moderate.  Obviously not a very scientific nor accurate poll.  From a Michael Winter article in USA Today posted on Feb 1, 2013:

Moving up from fourth-place, Alabama claimed the title as the most conservative state in the nation last year, according to a Gallup Poll released Friday.

North Dakota and Wyoming tied for second place.

In 2011, Mississippi was ranked as the reddest state, followed closely by Utah, and Wyoming and Alabama.

On the liberal side of the ideological ledger, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont repeated as the most liberal states, although the District of Columbia topped them all by a wide margin.

In the middle, Alaska edged out Rhode Island as the most moderate state.

Bottom line: Based on residents' own reports of their ideology, "America has become a slightly more liberal and a slightly less conservative nation than it was in 2011," Gallup concludes, "but conservatives still outnumber both moderates and liberals."

Overall, Americans in 2012 "remained slightly more likely to identify as conservative (38%) than as moderate (36%) or as liberal (23%), a pattern that reflects the general consistency in ideological self-reports over recent years."

The pollster says the results "generally reflects the familiar 'blue state,' 'red state' patterns that define the political geography of today's modern America." But it offers these caveats:
Three of the 10 most Republican states -- Kansas, Montana, and Alaska -- do not rank among the most conservative states. And Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas rank in the top 10 conservative states but not the 10 most Republican. ...
There is somewhat more accordance between the most liberal and most Democratic states. Only Illinois and Maryland rank among the most Democratic but not the most liberal. Oregon and Washington state rank among the 10 most liberal states but not the 10 most Democratic. ...
The distribution of moderates across the states is not highly related to the basic partisanship of the states. The state with the most moderates -- Alaska -- typically votes Republican and has a high Republican identification. The other two states with the highest percentage of moderate residents are Rhode Island (a blue state) and Ohio (a swing, competitive state).
Alabama – 50.6%
North Dakota – 48.6%
Wyoming – 48.6%
Mississippi – 48.2%
Utah – 48.0%
Oklahoma – 47.3%
Idaho – 47.1%
Louisiana – 45.6%
Nebraska – 45.3%
Arkansas – 45.5%

District of Columbia – 40.8%
Massachusetts – 30.5%
Oregon – 29.3%
Vermont – 29.2%
Delaware – 28.4%
Connecticut – 28.4%
Washington – 28.3%
Rhode Island – 28.3%
Hawaii – 27.7%
New York – 27.7%

Alaska – 42.7%
Rhode Island – 41.5%
Ohio – 39.5%
Maryland – 38.3%
Massachusetts – 38.1%
Michigan – 38.0%
Nevada – 37.8%
Connecticut – 37.8%
Montana – 37.6%
New Jersey – 37.6%

What about famously "liberal" California? In the Golden State, it trended reddish-purple: 36.1% moderate, 33.2% conservative and 26.9% liberal.

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