No real surprise that Oregon, in a recent Gallup poll, ranks as the seventh most liberal state in America. It's been reliably "blue" now for the past 25 years.
What is surprising, though, is that the top 10 most liberal states don't even compare to the top 10 most conservative states.
The top liberal states are mostly in the mid-20 percent range, while the top conservative states are in the mid-40 percent range. For the source of this data check this link.
To be fair, though, the populations of all the top 10 most conservative states don't equal the population of one liberal state, New York, which ranks just ahead of Oregon at No. 6.
Washington D.C., which of course is not a state, ranks as the No. 1 most liberal "state" at 41 percent. Meanwhile, Mississippi is more than 50 percent conservative and is No. 1 in that list.
The most conservative states are in the South and the intermountain West, the least educated areas in the country.
The most liberal states are in the Northeast and the Northwest, the most educated areas of the country. Washington ranks 9th.
Idaho is not really considered the Northwest in this survey because Idaho is the second most conservative state at 48.5 percent.
To be honest, though, Oregon and Washington, east of the Cascade Range, are as conservative as much of Idaho.
Also, while Bend is the only "liberal" city east of the Cascades in Oregon, a county in northern Idaho, the land of white supremacists, actually voted for President Obama.
Of course, that was due to Latah County's most populous city, which happens to be Moscow, home to the University of Idaho whose colors don't include red.
Even though Oregon is only 26.3 percent liberal, it's one of the most progressive states in the nation. As mentioned in an earlier post, Oregon was the first with a bottle bill and it could soon have the first plastic bag ban bill. Also, we were the first state to vote for doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Washington adopted a similar measure about a decade after Oregon. And Portland, the city that modernized land-use laws, has the best public transportation in the West.
Still, Oregon has a long way to go. Unemployment is still far too high here, which limits opportunities. We need to boost our education funding at all levels, particularly at our universities, which would expand our opportunities. And, western Oregon could use a little less rain.