What states are conservative in the United States? What are conservative politics?
The Republican Party is the major conservative party in the United States. Conservative politics aims for a smaller, deregulated government and desires to preserve the political philosophy and regulations articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. There is an aversion to rapid change and a strong belief that traditional morality, such as articulated in the Bible, needs to be preserved. Additionally, conservatives also emphasize the importance of free-market capitalism and free trade.
Conservative politics generally opposes liberal politics, which generally places a greater value on social justice, ensuring access to healthcare, regulating economic activity, and social equality. A few of the most liberal states in the U.S. are Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California. The Democratic Party is considered to be the liberal political party of the United States. U.S. citizens typically identify as either Democratic or Republican, or liberal or conservative.
Conservative states are those states with a predominantly conservative population that consistently elect conservative-leaning legislation. Conservative states often have low taxes, limited gun laws, high religious participation, and limited business regulations.
Republican, or "red," states are the most conservative-leaning states. Wyoming is the most republican state in the U.S.. 67% of residents in Wyoming identify as Republican or Republican-leaning. Wyoming has low taxes across the board, including no state income tax. The state has elected a Republican Party candidate for every presidential election since the 1950s, except for the 1964 election.
Most Conservative U.S. States
The following is a list of the most conservative states in the United States. These findings are based on a Gallup 2018 tracking poll. States with a gap of 20 points or greater are considered "highly conservative."
Mississippi is the most conservative state in the U.S., with 50% of the population being conservative. 29% of Mississippi residents are moderate, and 12% are liberal, the smallest percentage of every state. With a gap of 38 points, Mississippi is considered to be "highly conservative." In the 2016 election, 57.9% of Mississippi voters voted Republican, which came as no surprise considering that Mississippi has not voted Democratic since 1976. Unsurprisingly, Mississippi has a high concentration of church-goers, which is significant as conservative politics are tied with traditions in the Bible.
Wyoming is the second-most conservative state in the U.S. 46% of Wyoming residents identify as Conservative. Wyoming has low taxes across the board, including no state income tax. Wyoming has elected a Republican Party candidate for every presidential election since the 1950s, except for the 1964 election. About 68% of voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election.
Alabama is tied with Wyoming as the second-most conservative state in the country, with 46% of voters identifying as conservative. Alabama has the second-highest conservative advantage gap of 32 points, making it a "highly conservative" state. Alabama has voted Republican in the last eight presidential elections, and 62.1% of voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election. Like Mississippi, many residents of Alabama are also avid church-goers.
4. West Virginia
West Virginia is the fourth-most conservative state in the U.S. 45% of voters identify as conservative in West Virginia. In comparison, only 17% identify as liberal, giving the state a conservative advantage of 28 points. About 68.5% of West Virginia voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election, the highest percentage of any state.
5. South Dakota
With 44% of voters identifying as conservative, South Dakota is the fifth-most conservative state in the United States. With only 13% of voters identifying as liberal, the second-smallest percentage of any state, South Dakota's conservative advantage is 31 points, the third-highest of any state. In the 2016 presidential election, 61.5% of voters voted Republican, a margin of 29.8% over the 31.7% who voted Democratic.
Tennessee is the sixth-most conservative state in the United States. 43% of voters identify as conservative, and 17% identify as conservative, resulting in a conservative advantage of 26 points. In the 2016 presidential election, 60.7% of voters voted Republican.
Tied with Tennessee is Oklahoma, which is also 43% conservative. The conservative advantage in Oklahoma is 25 points due to a liberal percentage of just 18%. Oklahoma has only four blue counties in the whole state as per the last election in 2018. 65.3% of voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election, and the state has voted Republican in 15 out of the last 16 elections.
Louisiana is tied with both Tennessee and Oklahoma, with 43% of voters identifying as conservative. Louisiana has a conservative advantage of 28 points, the fourth-highest in the country. 58.1% of Louisiana voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election. The least conservative areas in Louisiana are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport.
Utah is the ninth-most conservative state in the United States, with 41% of voters identifying as conservative. 40% of Utah voters identify as moderates, and 15% identify as liberal, giving Utah a 26-point conservative advantage. In the 2016 presidential election, 45.5% of voters voted Republican, the lowest percentage since 1992; 27.5% voted Democratic, and 21.5% voted for the Independent candidate. Like Oklahoma, Utah also has zero blue counties in the entire state.
10. South Carolina
Finishing the top ten most conservative states in the U.S. is South Carolina, which is 41% conservative. South Carolina has a conservative advantage of 25 points. In the 2016 presidential election, 54.9% of voters voted Republican. Areas that voted Democratic in 2016 are around Charleston and Columbia.
While there are very conservative states in the U.S., there are many very conservative cities, too. Some of these cities fall within the borders of already conservative states, while other cities are outliers in their home states. Here are the ten most conservative cities in the United States:
- Mesa, Arizona
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Arlington, Texas
- Anaheim, California
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Aurora, Colorado