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Gallup: W.Va. a fairly conservative state despite voter registration

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More than half of West Virginians may be registered Democrats, but that doesn't mean the state is considered liberal.

A new poll out this week from Gallup ranked states based on how conservative they are. While the Mountain State didn't end up in the top 10 as the most liberal or conservative states in the nation, it was viewed as more conservative than others.

Gallup ranked states based on what it called the "conservative advantage," which was defined as the percentage conservative minus the percentage of liberal in each state. West Virginia had a conservative advantage of 25.2. The state Gallup identified as the most conservative state in the nation — Alabama — scored a 50.6 on Gallup's poll. That means more than half of the state's residents viewed themselves as conservative.

Other states rounding out the top 10 were North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska and Arkansas. The 10 most liberal states were Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Delaware, Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York.

In West Virginia, approximately 52 percent of voters in the November general election were registered as Democrats while nearly 29 percent were registered as Republicans, according to information from the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office. Nearly 18 percent of voters did not claim a party affiliation, less than 1 percent were registered as members of the Mountain Party and nearly 2 percent listed "other" as their party affiliation.

Gallup's report said there is not a perfect correlation between ideology and party.

"Three of the 10 most Republican states — Kansas, Montana and Alaska — do not rank among the most conservative states," Gallup said. "And Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas rank in the top 10 conservative states but not the 10 most Republican."