“Blue states” are states with a more liberal population and culture, as opposed to “red states” which are more conservative.
While there are much more red states than blue states, the blue states tend to have much larger populations, therefore they have greater representation in indices such as the electoral college and the House of Representatives.
There are also neutral states, which are sometimes referred to as “swing states” because they might vote Democratic or Republican. The swing states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida, are where candidates conduct the majority of their campaigns.
Massachusetts is the most liberal state in the country, and Boston is just as progressive as the rest of the state. Hawaii comes next, then Vermont, Washington, New York, New Hampshire, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Maine. This estimate of a state’s liberalness is based on the proportion of liberals to conservatives.
Similar to how some states are more liberal than others, certain cities are more liberal than others. These cities are characterized by large minoritized populations and open manifestations of LGBTQ+ acceptance.
San Francisco, California is the most liberal city, followed by Washington, DC, Seattle, Washington, Oakland, California, Boston, Massachusetts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Detroit, Michigan, New York City, Buffalo, New York, and Baltimore, Maryland. These cities are all located in blue states.
Due to factors such as immigration, the empowerment of minority groups, and taxation, states can become more conservative over time. New York, for instance, was formerly extremely conservative but is now considerably more progressive.
Ten Most Liberal States in the United States
The ten most liberal states in the United States are shown below. The data was collected by Gallup in 2018.
The most liberal state in the United States in Massachusetts, where 35% of voters identify as liberals. With 21% of voters identifying as conservative, Massachusetts has a 14-point liberal advantage.
Moderates are the largest group in Massachusetts, accounting for 38 percent of the voting population. Sixty percent of voters in the 2016 presidential election supported the Democratic Party.
Massachusetts is also home to prominent politicians including Elizabeth Warren, Michael Dukakis, Jill Stein, and the Kennedys. This state also boasts a large number of urban districts and a highly educated populace, two aspects that contribute significantly to its liberal atmosphere.
Maine is the nation’s second-most liberal state. 33% of voters self-identify as liberal, but the liberal advantage is -2 since 35% of voters self-identify as conservative. In the 2016 presidential election, 47.9 percent of Maine voters supported the Democratic candidate, while 44.9 percent supported the Republican candidate.
With 29 percent of people identifying as moderate, Maine is one of the few states in which moderates do not outweigh liberals or conservatives.
32 percent of Vermont’s voters identify as liberal, ranking it as the third-most liberal state in the country. With 28 percent of voters identifying as conservative, Vermont has the third-highest liberal edge, four points. In the 2016 election, 56.3% of Vermont voters cast Democratic ballots, while 30.3% cast Republican ballots. Barack Obama won Vermont in 2012 by 35.6% of the vote.
Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist with extremely leftist beliefs who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016 and is running again in 2020, resides in Vermont. In 2016, he garnered 71 percent of the vote in Vermont.
Washington is the fourth-most liberal state in the United States, with 31 percent of voters identifying as liberals. With 28 percent of voters identifying as conservative, Washington has a three-point liberal advantage.
With 37 percent of voters, moderates have the greatest voter share. In the 2016 presidential election, 52.5% of voters supported the Democratic candidate.
5. New York City
New York is the nation’s fifth-most liberal state. 30 percent of New York voters identify as liberal, compared to 27 percent who identify as conservative, giving New York a liberal advantage of 3 percentage points.
Geographically, New York is divided, with the majority of upstate regions voting conservative and the majority of metropolitan areas voting liberal. In the 2016 presidential election, 59% of voters supported the Democratic candidate.
6. New Hampshire
New Hampshire and New York share the sixth-most liberal rating at 30 percent. New Hampshire is 28% conservative, giving it a slighter liberal edge than New York by 2 percentage points.
In the 2016 presidential election, 46.8 percent of voters cast Democratic ballots, a lead of only 0.3 percent over Republican voters (46.5 percent ).
The seventh-most liberal state in the United States is California. In California, 29 percent of voters identify as liberals and 29 percent as conservatives, giving liberals a zero-point advantage. 36 percent of California voters identify as moderate.
As the state with the most electoral votes, California has a significant impact on elections. 61.5 percent of voters supported the Democrats in the 2016 presidential election, a 30 percent advantage over the Republican vote.
With 28 percent of voters identifying as liberal, Oregon is the seventh most liberal state in the country. Oregon has a -4 point liberal advantage due to the fact that 32% of voters identify as conservatives, while 35% of voters identify as moderates.
In the 2016 presidential election, 50.1% of voters supported the Democratic candidate, while 39.1% supported the Republican candidate. Around Eugene and Portland, the most Democratic areas of the state may be found.
Maryland is tied with Oregon, with 28 percent of voters identifying as liberals. 29 percent of Maryland voters are conservative, giving the state a one-point liberal advantage. The largest group of voters, 39 percent, is moderate. The majority of Maryland’s liberals reside in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. In the 2016 presidential election, 60.3% of voters chose the Democratic candidate.
Among other progressive reforms, Maryland legalized homosexual marriage, pushed for severe gun restrictions, and imposed tax increases.
The eighth-most liberal state in the United States is tied between Hawaii, Maryland, and Oregon. With 28 percent of Hawaii’s voters identifying as liberal and 22 percent identifying as conservative, Hawaii has a 6-point liberal lead, the second-highest in the US.
Moderates are the largest group in Hawaii, with 45 percent of registered voters identifying as such, the highest percentage of any state. In 2016, 62,2 percent of Hawaii’s voters voted for the Democratic presidential candidate.
San Francisco, California; Washington, District of Columbia; Seattle, Washington; Oakland, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Detroit, Michigan; New York, New York; Buffalo, New York; and Baltimore, Maryland are among the top ten most liberal urban areas in the United States, beginning with the most liberal city in the country.
The Ten States With the Most Liberal Policies
- Massachusetts (35.00 percent )
- Maine (33.00 percent )
- Vermont (32.00 percent )
- Washington (31.00 percent )
- State of New Hampshire (30.00 percent )
- New York City (30.00 percent )
- State of California (29.00 percent )
- Hawaii (28.00 percent )
- Maryland (28.00 percent )
- Oregon (28.00 percent )