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The Most Liberal State in the US

We recently compiled a list of the 20 Most Liberal States in the US and in this article, we will talk about 20 Most Liberal states in the US.

Overview of Liberalism in the United States and Its Stronghold in Massachusetts

The United States has been a major proponent and defender of liberal values globally, although its commitment to upholding these values has fluctuated over time. Since the 1930s, modern liberalism in the US has been associated with support for a regulated market economy, expansion of civil and political rights, and government programs aimed at promoting social welfare and equality. Key achievements of this liberal tradition include the New Deal policies under Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society programs under Lyndon B. Johnson, and landmark civil rights legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The University of Richmond claims that political usage of the term "liberalism" dates back to the early 1800s. It first appeared in 1810–1811 when a group of Spanish Cortes dubbed themselves "Liberales" and promoted an open, tolerant society with less intervention. The phrase then made its way to France and Great Britain, where, by the 1840s, the Whigs had transformed into the Liberal Party.

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According to Pew Research Center research, conservatives want big homes in rural or small-town settings, preferably with other members of their own religious community. Liberals, on the other hand, want thriving urban environments with compact housing, pedestrian-friendly streets, and a diversified populace. According to the survey, 35% of consistently conservative people prefer small towns, while 41% of people prefer living in rural areas. On the other hand, 46% of consistently liberal people would rather live in the city. In both groups, about 20% prefer living in the suburbs.

As the most liberal state in the union, Massachusetts has always supported the Democratic Party in presidential elections since 1964, with 35% of its citizens identifying as liberal. Only 16% of Massachusetts lawmakers' votes in 2020 reflected conservative viewpoints on topics including corporate tax increases and abortion access, according to a report by the Center for Legislative Accountability, making them the most liberal in the country.

Major Liberal Companies  

Companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), among others, are known for their liberalism. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) supports LGBTQ+ rights and offers comprehensive benefits for transgender employees. In 2022, Amazon's global activities resulted in a total tax contribution of $77.99 billion across different regions. Amazon has invested over $530 billion in the U.S. over the past decade, creating 1.6 million indirect jobs. Small and medium businesses make up 60% of Amazon's product sales, creating an estimated 2.2 million jobs. In Q1 2024, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)'s net sales increased 13% year-over-year to $143.3 billion and AWS revenue growth accelerated to 17.2% year-over-year, up from 13.2% in Q4 2023. Their Advertising revenue grew over 23% year-over-year to $11.7 billion in the same period.

NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) has often been portrayed as a progressive and liberal company, particularly after its controversial ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick in 2018. In the 2018 election cycle, Nike employees and its PAC contributed $424,000 to Republicans compared to only $122,000 to Democrats. This means 78% of Nike's political contributions went to the Republican party. Over the past decade, NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)has consistently given a majority of its political donations to Republicans, ranging from 59% to 76% in various election cycles. In 2024, Nike Inc. spent $410,000 on lobbying efforts. Nike’s Greater China revenue grew 12% in Q1, with Nike Direct up 10% and Nike Stores up 12%.

Last but not least, Google, the tech giant and subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), has long been perceived as a liberal-leaning company, particularly due to its employees' political contributions favoring Democratic candidates and causes. In the 2022 election cycle, the Google Inc. PAC contributed $452,000 (52.83%) to Democratic candidates and $401,500 (46.93%) to Republicans. This trend has been observed in previous election cycles as well, with Google employees donating $207,650 to federal candidates in 2004, primarily favoring Democrats. In Q1 2024 Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)'s total revenue was $80.5 billion, up 15% year-over-year. Their Google Services revenue was $70.4 billion, up 14% YoY, Google Cloud revenue was $9.6 billion, up 28% YoY, and YouTube Ads revenue was $8 billion, up 21%. YoY.

The Most Liberal State in the US
The Most Liberal State in the US

Pixabay/Public domain

Our Methodology 

For our methodology, we ranked the most liberal states based on their liberal-to-conservative ratios, using the percentages available from 2019 due to the absence of more recent data. For example, if a state has 35% of its population identifying as liberal and 21% as conservative, the ratio is calculated as 35/21, resulting in approximately 1.6. States with the highest ratios are considered the most liberal.

1. Massachusetts 

Liberal-to-Conservative Ratio: 1.60 

Massachusetts tops the list for being the most liberal state in the US. 35% of the state's population identifies as liberals which is the highest in the country. In contrast, only 21% identify as conservative. The state has liberal policies on abortion rights, with the procedure legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. It also has strict gun control laws, including an assault weapons ban and regulations on purchasing and licensing firearms. The state is largely known for its robust social safety net, including universal healthcare coverage through its healthcare reform law that served as a model for the Affordable Care Act. Both U.S. Senators from Massachusetts are Democrats (Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey).

To learn about other most liberal states in the US, you can check out our detailed report 20 Most Liberal States in the US. At Insider Monkey, we delve into a variety of topics, ranging from the best online ESL courses to business aspects; however, our expertise lies in identifying the top-performing stocks. Currently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology stands out as one of the most promising fields. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than NVDA but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

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Disclosure. None: The 20 Most Liberals in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.