Most Conservative States 2016

Southwest Oklahoma. Photo by Larry Smith. Southwest Oklahoma. Photo by Larry Smith.

Below are the New Revere Daily Press’ rankings for the nation’s most conservative states. The rankings were determined by evaluating a variety of factors, including election results, tax burden, and personal/business freedom (or lack of personal/business freedom).

The personal/business freedom score accounted for 50 percent of the total weighted score. In order to determine the personal/business freedom score, we used a number of measures provided by the Cato Institute’s 2016 Freedom in the 50 States report, which can be found here. We did exclude a number of measures in that report, some because of redundancy and others because we felt they were poor measures. For instance, we did not use Cato’s “marriage freedom” score because it is our believe the government should have no role in marriage at all.

The tax burden part of our score accounted for 25 percent of the total score. We relied on WalletHub’s excellent ranking of total tax burden to create our own scores. WalletHub created its rankings by examining property taxes, individual income tax rates, and total sales and gross receipts tax rates. You can read Wallethub’s 2016 ratings here.

The final component (also 25%) of our score is 2012 presidential election results. States that had the most voters for Barack Obama were ranked the lowest. States with the fewest Obama voters were ranked highest. We chose not to use the 2016 election results because of the unique nature of that election. In 2016, many red states voted at higher rates for Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton than usual, and many blue states, notably Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, voted for Republican Donald Trump. We believe because this election was so unique, it would skew our results to use the 2016 results in our final analysis.

To see a breakdown of all our data, check out our more detailed analysis.

PHOTO: Southwest Oklahoma. Photo by Larry Smith.

Most Conservative States

Ranking State Total Points
1 Oklahoma 190
2 Alaska 178
3 South Dakota 178
4 Tennessee 177
5 Idaho 174
6 New Hampshire 167
7 Wyoming 167
8 Florida 156
9 Indiana 144
10 Montana 142
11 North Dakota 142
12 Alabama 140
13 South Carolina 139
14 Colorado 135
15 Utah 135
16 Nevada 133
17 Arizona 132
18 Missouri 132
19 Kansas 128
20 Virginia 123
21 Iowa 122
22 Texas 122
23 Georgia 121
24 North Carolina 120
25 Nebraska 117

Conservative Scores for All States, Listed Alphabetically

State Total Points Ranking
Alabama 140 12
Alaska 178 2
Arizona 132 17
Arkansas 108 26
California 22 48
Colorado 135 14
Connecticut 26 46
Delaware 97 28
Florida 156 8
Georgia 121 23
Hawaii 9 49
Idaho 174 5
Illinois 35 41
Indiana 144 9
Iowa 122 21
Kansas 128 19
Kentucky 90 31
Louisiana 104 27
Maine 34 42
Maryland 28 43
Massachusetts 60 39
Michigan 91 30
Minnesota 52 40
Mississippi 83 34
Missouri 132 18
Montana 142 10
Nebraska 117 25
Nevada 133 16
New Hampshire 167 6
New Jersey 25 47
New Mexico 85 32
New York 7 50
North Carolina 120 24
North Dakota 142 11
Ohio 69 38
Oklahoma 190 1
Oregon 72 37
Pennsylvania 97 29
Rhode Island 27 44
South Carolina 139 13
South Dakota 178 3
Tennessee 177 4
Texas 122 22
Utah 135 15
Vermont 27 45
Virginia 123 20
Washington 82 35
West Virginia 85 33
Wisconsin 75 36
Wyoming 167 7

 

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