Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ranking States by the Liberalism/Conservatism of Their Voters

An interesting post by Andrew Gelman:

Here's a graph of the 50 states (actually, I think Alaska and Hawaii are missing), showing the average economic and social ideology of adults within each state. Each of these is scaled so that negative numbers are liberal and positive are conservative; thus, people in Massachusetts are the most liberal on economic issues and people in Idaho are the most conservative:
West Virginians are on the liberal side economically but are extremely socially conservative, whereas Vermont is about the same as West Virginian on the economic dimension but is the most socially liberal of all the states. Coloradans are economically conservative (on average) but socially moderate (or, perhaps, socially divided; these are averages only).

My home state of Virginia lies almost perfectly in the center on both scales and is more conservative both socially and economically than our neighboring state of Maryland. Florida is more socially conservative and economically liberal than Virginia.

Democrats and Republicans separately

The next step is to break these voters down into Democrats and Republicans (based on self-reported party identification and following the usual practice among political scientists of throwing the "leaners" into the regular party categories). In the graph below, each state is shown twice: the avg social and economic ideologies of Democrats in the state are shown in blue, the avgs for Republicans in red.

More after the link.

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