States with the most liberals

Written by:
February 3, 2021
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States with the most liberals

Throughout centuries and across continents, the political meaning of liberalism has evolved to represent a very different set of principles than it once did. 

Researchers determined the first time the term "liberal" was used in a political manner was around 1769 by Scottish economist Adam Smith, who applied the word to discussions about trade as well as policy. To believe in liberal principles, for Smith, was to strive for natural liberty—or the right for any person to pursue their own interests as long as they stayed in the lines of the law. Today in America some are proud to call themselves liberal while others attach negative connotations to the word. Supporters of modern liberalism believe it represents the want for government to assist in political and social change, but critics of liberalism often feel it is a threat to their own way of life. 

Stacker ranked each state first by the percentage of residents who identify as liberals and then by the percentage of the state's voters who voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, using data from Gallup, 270toWin, and the Cook Political Report's 2020 National Popular Vote Tracker

While the war between conservatives and liberals has long been active in the U.S., it was glaringly apparent throughout the Trump administration. Misinformation, a common theme that began during former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and persisted through his four years in office, painted a particularly negative picture of liberals for Trump supporters. From asserting the COVID-19 crisis was all a rouse to get Trump out of office to declaring protests in Philadelphia after the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. were “the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats’ war against the police,” liberals were essentially declared public enemy #1 by the Trump administration. Trump did not create the divide between political parties but he did help to inflame the longstanding contentious relationship. 

Continue reading to find out how many liberals there are in every state post-Trump, beginning with the state with the least liberals in the U.S.

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#50. Mississippi

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 12%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 29%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 539,508 (41.1%)

2 / 50
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#49. South Dakota

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 13%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 150,471 (35.6%)

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#48. Alabama

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 14%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 34%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 849,624 (36.6%)

4 / 50
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#47. Arkansas

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 15%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 4 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 423,932 (34.8%)

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#46. Utah

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 15%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 40%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 560,282 (37.6%)

 

6 / 50
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#45. Louisiana

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 15%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 3 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 856,034 (39.9%)

7 / 50
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#44. South Carolina

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 16%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,091,541 (43.4%)

8 / 50
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#43. West Virginia

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 17%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 31%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 7 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 235,984 (29.7%)

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#42. Idaho

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 17%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 287,021 (33.1%)

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#41. Tennessee

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 17%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 34%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 4 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,143,711 (37.5%)

 

11 / 50
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#40. Indiana

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 17%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 2 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,242,413 (41.0%)

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#39. Alaska

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 17%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 153,778 (42.8%)

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#38. Wyoming

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 18%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 31%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 73,491 (26.6%)

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#37. North Dakota

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 18%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 41%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 114,902 (31.8%)

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#36. Oklahoma

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 18%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 503,890 (32.3%)

 

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#35. Montana

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 18%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 2 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 244,786 (40.5%)

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#34. Kansas

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 18%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 570,323 (41.6%)

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#33. Georgia

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 19%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 4 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,473,633 (49.5%)

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#32. Kentucky

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 20%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 4 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 772,474 (36.2%)

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#31. Missouri

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 20%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 34%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 4 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,253,014 (41.4%)

 

21 / 50
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#30. Texas

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 20%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 3 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 5,259,126 (46.5%)

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#29. New Mexico

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 20%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 8 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 501,614 (54.3%)

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#28. Iowa

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 21%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 39%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 7 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 759,061 (44.9%)

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#27. North Carolina

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 21%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 33%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 3 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,684,292 (48.6%)

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#26. Arizona

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 21%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 2 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,672,143 (49.4%)

 

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#25. Nebraska

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 22%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 1 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 374,583 (39.4%)

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#24. Ohio

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 22%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 6 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,679,165 (45.2%)

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#23. Florida

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 22%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 5 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 5,297,045 (47.9%)

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#22. Nevada

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 23%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 7 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 703,486 (50.1%)

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#21. Michigan

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 23%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 9 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,804,040 (50.6%)

 

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#20. Wisconsin

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 24%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,630,866 (49.4%)

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#19. Pennsylvania

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 24%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 3,459,923 (50.0%)

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#18. Virginia

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 24%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 5 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,413,568 (54.1%)

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#17. Delaware

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 24%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 43%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 296,268 (58.7%)

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#16. Minnesota

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 25%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 14 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,717,049 (52.4%)

 

36 / 50
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#15. Rhode Island

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 25%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 40%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 13 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 307,486 (59.4%)

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#14. Colorado

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 26%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 6 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,804,352 (55.4%)

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#13. New Jersey

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 27%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 9 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,608,335 (57.3%)

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#12. Illinois

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 27%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 9 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 3,471,915 (57.5%)

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#11. Connecticut

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 27%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,080,680 (59.2%)

 

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#10. Oregon

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 28%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,340,383 (56.5%)

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#9. Hawaii

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 28%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 45%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 13 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 366,130 (63.7%)

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#8. Maryland

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 28%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 39%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 12 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 1,985,023 (65.4%)

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#7. California

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 29%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 9 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 11,110,250 (63.5%)

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#6. New Hampshire

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 30%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 8 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 424,921 (52.7%)

 

46 / 50
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#5. New York

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 30%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 35%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 12 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 5,241,957 (60.9%)

47 / 50
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#4. Washington

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 31%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 37%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 11 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,369,612 (58.0%)

48 / 50
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#3. Vermont

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 32%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 36%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 9 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 242,820 (66.1%)

49 / 50
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#2. Maine

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 33%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 29%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 10 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 435,072 (53.1%)

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#1. Massachusetts

- Residents who consider themselves liberal: 35%
- Residents who consider themselves moderate: 38%
- Presidential election outcome between 1964-2020: voted Democratic 13 times (out of 15)
- Votes cast for Joe Biden in 2020: 2,382,202 (65.6%)

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