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And the Most Conservative State in the Union Is...

Air Force Two carrying Vice President Dick Cheney soars in front of the Grand Teton after liftoff Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004, from Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson, Wyo. AP

Gallup has released a survey ranking the most conservative and most liberal states in the country, and the findings are enough to make Dick Cheney proud: His onetime home state of Wyoming tops the list of most conservative states.

A quick disclaimer: The poll did not take into account what a person's actual beliefs are, only how they identified themselves. In Wyoming, 53 percent of respondents self-identified as conservative, giving it the top spot.

Mississippi came in a close second, also with 53 percent self-identified conservatives. The rest of the top 10 of conservatism, in descending order: Utah, South Dakota, Alabama, North Dakota, Idaho, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Louisiana. (In each of the last four states, 46 percent self-identified as conservative.)

On to the other side of the political spectrum: Topping the list of self-identified liberals is the District of Columbia, at 42 percent, followed by four New England states: Rhode Island (32 percent), Connecticut (29 percent), Vermont (29 percent) and Massachusetts (28 percent).

Rounding out the top 10 are Colorado, New York, Oregon, Washington and New Jersey.

You'll notice that despite Democratic control of Congress and the presidency, there is generally a higher percentage of self-identified conservatives than self-identified liberals. Americans have been far less likely to identify as liberal than conservative going back to at least 1992, and the trend has been toward self-identified conservatism in recent years. (On average in that period, about 40 percent of Americans called themselves conservative, 37 percent moderate and 19 percent liberal.)

Despite these figures, Democrats hold an edge in national party identification and have taken a lead over the GOP when it comes to generic party matchups.

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