Americans are getting more conservative, both ideologically and politically, according to new polling results from Gallup.
Although conservatives have outnumbered liberals nationally for quite a while, the new numbers show that even liberal-leaning states are drifting to the right. Conservatives now outnumber liberals in deep-blue bastions like Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Oregon.
Click here to see the most conservative states >
Urban theorist Richard Florida at The Atlantic goes deep into the state-by-state polling data to figure out what underlying social and economic factors account for America’s growing shift to the right.
Some highlights from Florida’s findings:
- Conservative states are considerably poorer than states with more liberals.
- States with more conservatives tend to be more religious and less diverse than states with more liberals.
- Conservative states are less well-educated than liberal states.
- Conservative affiliation has a strong positive correlation to the percentage of workers in blue-collar occupations.
Obviously, America’s growing conservatism presents a major problem for President Obama and the Democrats in 2012. The more significant implications of the rising conservative tide, however, are economic, rather than political.
Conservatism, more and more, is the ideology of the economically left behind. The current economic crisis only appears to have deepened conservatism’s hold on America’s states. This trend stands in sharp contrast to the Great Depression, when America embraced FDR and the New Deal…
…This ideological state of affairs advantages the policy preferences of poorer, less innovative states over wealthier, more innovative, and productive ones. American politics is increasingly disconnected from its economic engine. And this deepening political divide has become perhaps the biggest bottleneck on the road to long-run prosperity.
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