Most Americans think of themselves, politically, as at the center or right of center, according to a new Gallup poll.
They are more apt to self-identify as conservatives than as liberals. At the same time, moderates as a voting bloc tend to prefer Democratic candidates, which helps to explain how Democrats continue to win elections when comparatively fewer Americans think of themselves as liberal.
Overall, Wyoming is the most conservative state. Other top red states are Mississippi, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma Tennessee, and Alabama.
Only the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont have more liberals than conservatives. Rounding out the more liberal states are Delaware, New York, Hawaii, Oregon, Maine, California and New Jersey.
Liberals tend to congregate on the two coasts while conservatives come together mostly in the South and West.
Kansas and Nebraska break the voting template: they go Republican, but are not among the most conservative states. Likewise, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Mexico fall into the Democratic camp though they are not liberal bastions.
The numbers also reveal
that while there are more conservatives (38 percent) than liberals (23 liberals) the ratio in ideological self-identification is narrowing. The so-called "conservative advantage," which stood at 14.6 percentage points in 2013, is down from 15.9 points the previous year.
The survey was conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 2013 based on a random telephone sample of 178,527 adults. The margin of error is 6 percentage points plus/minus.
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