“Gallup’s analysis of political party affiliation at the state level in 2015 finds that 20 states are solidly Republican or leaning Republican, compared with 14 solidly Democratic or leaning Democratic states,” the polling service reports.
That’s big news for Republicans. “This is the first time in Gallup’s eight years of tracking partisanship by state that there have been more Republican than Democratic states. It also marks a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades,” the Gallup article continues.
Looking at state-by-state partisan advantage – the gap between people identifying them as Republican versus Democrat – North Dakota is the 4th most Republican state in the nation.
Ideologically speaking, North Dakotans also self-identify as conservative in a major way, and by that measure the state is also the 4th most conservative in the nation:
The partisan numbers are more meaningful to me in terms of how this impacts policy making. Ideological terms like “conservative” or “liberal” can be extremely subjective. Can you still be a conservative if you believe in low taxes and free markets but also liberalized drug policies and legal gay marriage? I think so. That kind of describes me, in fact.
I’m sure others would disagree.
Aligning yourself with Republicans or Democrats or some other political party makes more of a statement, I think, because it indicates how a given person will likely be voting. And it’s no surprise that in a state like North Dakota where Republicans dominate at the ballot box the percentage of people describing themselves as Republicans is high.
It would be interesting to see North Dakota’s trend on partisan affiliation, however. Although the state has always been predisposed toward Republicans, I have perceived a move further to the right during the Obama years much similar to what Gallup says has happened nationally.
When Obama was elected, North Dakota’s congressional delegation was all Democrats. Since then two members of that delegation have been replaced by Republicans, and the third is Senator Heidi Heitkamp who barely got elected in 2012 to a Senate seat Democrats have held since Quentin Burdick was elected to it in 1960.