Sunday, February 26, 2012

State Popularity Contest

Public Policy Polling recently did a curious poll (PDF) in which they asked Americans whether they had favorable or unfavorable views of various states. Of all the states, Hawaii had the best favorable-unfavorable ratio (54-10), being almost universally liked. One imagines that has more to do with sunny beaches and hula dancers than cost of living. California has the worst favorable-unfavorable ratio (27-44). The break-up is also interesting. Democrats tend to have a high opinion of states that are usually seen as strongly inclined to Democratic politics, while having a low opinion of states that are usually seen as strongly inclined to Republican politics; and for Republicans it is the reverse. Hawaii does so well because while it is (comparatively) absolutely loved by Democrats, it's not hated by Republicans; and California does so badly in part because while it is (comparatively) positively despised by Republicans, it's really not all that loved by Democrats, either, although they are still much more likely to view it favorably than Republicans are. Texas does much better than California because Republicans like it massively more than Democrats hate it, which is interesting, because Texas's reputation as a Republican state is not very old. Women seem to have a higher opinion of New England, while men seem to have a higher opinion of the rugged north central states like North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming.

Of course in virtually all of these cases there was a pretty heavy not-sure component. 62% of respondents seem to have been not sure what to think of West Virginia, for instance, as compared with states like Texas or California, where the number was down below 30%. And, of course, this is a portmanteau statistic, since approval and disapproval of a state is not something that's going to be entirely coherent as a concept, and will include the most disparate kinds of evaluation. So it means next to nothing. But it's interesting to see the top and the bottom.

Most Favorable

1. Hawaii (54-10)
2. Colorado (44-9)
3. Tennessee (48-14)
4. South Dakota (42-8)
5. Virginia (45-13)

Least Favorable

1. California (27-44)
2. Illinois (19-29)
3. New Jersey (25-32)
4. Mississippi (22-28)
5. Utah (24-27)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.