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Most conservatives states are in South and West, most liberal along the East and West coasts

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at 8:51 a.m.

The nation's most conservative states are in the South and West, while the most liberal are in the Northeast and West, according to a new Gallup State of the States report.

Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho and Utah top the conservative list, while the District of Columbia, Vermont, Massachusetts and Delaware are the most liberal.

The top 10 liberal states all gave their electoral votes to President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, while the top 10 comservative states went with Republicans John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Here's some Gallup analysis:

"There may have been more "blue" states than "red" states in 2013, but a clear majority of Americans are ideologically at the center or right of center. How do Democrats continue to win elections if so few Americans identify themselves as liberal? The answer may lie with moderates, which, as a voting bloc, are solidly Democratic. If moderates begin voting with Republicans in the near or long-term future, there may indeed be a Republican revival on the national level.

"Yet while less than a quarter of Americans consider themselves ideologically liberal, the term has beensteadily increasingly in popularity over a generation. This may be attributable to Americans becoming more comfortable with the term again. Once a popular staple of the civil rights and protest era of the 1960s and 1970s, the term "liberal" was later derided on the national stage -- for example, when George H.W. Bush scornfully used the term against Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. With the passage of time, perhaps this moniker is experiencing a rebirth of sorts."

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