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.
PHOTO: Southwest Oklahoma. Photo by Larry Smith.
Most Conservative States
Conservative Scores for All States, Listed Alphabetically