Mississippi ranks as second-most conservative state

A recent Gallup poll finds Mississippi is the second-most conservative state in the union, trailing Alabama by only 1 percent, while another poll shows Republicans only slightly outnumber Democrats here.
Overall, the ideology poll finds that all 50 states, to some degree, are more conservative than liberal. But a Gallup 2009 party ID study released earlier this month shows Democrats have significant party advantages in 30 states compared to four states for the GOP, although the GOP has a slight lead in Mississippi.
“The strength of ‘conservative’ over ‘liberal’ in the realm of political labels is vividly apparent in Gallup’s state level data, where a significantly higher percentage of Americans in most states – even some solidly Democratic ones – call themselves conservative rather than liberal,” the poll shows.
Researchers polled more than 160,000 U.S. residents with at least 400 interviews in each state between January and June. The Mississippi data shows that 48 percent of Mississippians identify themselves as conservatives.
That figure was only slightly less than Alabama, which showed that 49 percent of the residents surveyed answered they were either conservative or very conservative.
Utah, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota were all slightly behind Mississippi in the ranking of most conservative.
But while Mississippi and Alabama are most conservative in their ideology, they aren’t the most Republican states. As the most GOP-leaning states, Utah was first, trailed by Wyoming, Idaho and Alaska, which were just ahead of Alabama and Mississippi, according to Gallup’s 2009 party ID study.
The party ID study also surveyed more than 160,000 U.S. adults, with at least 400 interviews happening in each state between January and June of this year.
In the party affiliation study, 44 percent of Mississippians identified themselves as Republicans or leaning Republican, while 43 percent called themselves Democrats or say they lean toward the Democrats, out of the 1,353 who were surveyed. The 1-point gap was within the margin of error.
The study finds the most liberal states are on the East and West coasts, but the District of Columbia ranks as the most liberal with 37 percent.
The District of Columbia was closely followed by Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey and California. The District of Columbia also registers as having the lowest number of people describing themselves as conservative, with 23 percent.
Louisiana has the lowest number of citizens calling themselves liberal with 14 percent. In Mississippi, 34 percent identify themselves as moderate, while 15 percent call themselves liberal.

Michael Newsom/The Sun Herald