The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has released its 50-state legislative analysis, ranking all 50 states from the most conservative to the least, revealing which states are implementing policies aligning with American values to promote individual liberty, economic growth and human dignity.
All 50 state legislatures were ranked based on policy, revealing the clear relationship between conservative policymaking and quality of life. Between prosperity, freedom and crime, failed policies adopted in Democrat-led states leave a lot to be desired. Republican-led states, on the other hand, have become the primary benefactors of state-to-state migration, wealth and safety thanks to excellent legislation.
To create these rankings, CPAC’s Center for Legislative Accountability tallied 265,000 votes on legislation from all 50 states and all 7,400 state legislators. This compilation of data allows us to look at outcomes in a nuanced way and interpret recent state-to-state migration and economic trends.
By now, most people are familiar with the California exodus, with many disgruntled voters abandoning the Golden State for conservative Texas. Our new state rankings provide context to the mass migration in a more useful way. Florida, for instance, ranks as the sixth most conservative state in the nation and has also been the top destination for Americans leaving their home state for more than a decade. The result has been a massive transfer of wealth, with more than $200 billion in income migrating to Florida from the rest of America.
Florida’s zero individual income tax policy and the absence of an estate tax or inheritance tax have attracted income-earners across the economic spectrum from states with confiscatory tax rates like New Jersey and New York. And thanks to the conservative policies adopted in Tallahassee, Florida’s low cost of living does not come at the expense of high sales taxes or poor public infrastructure. Indeed, Florida outperforms most states when it comes to things like school choice and state-run pension programs while maintaining fiscal discipline.
But it’s not just low taxes that make conservative-run states more attractive. Nationwide, “go woke or go broke” policies led to some of the largest state-to-state migration numbers in years, with people fleeing liberal hellscapes for conservative safe havens.
When comparing states that have embraced woke social and economic policy with those that have adopted commonsense conservative legislation in 2021, the 10 most liberal states had more people moving out than moving in, with an average 9% net loss. Conversely, the top 10 conservative states, on average, experienced a 12% net gain of people moving in versus those leaving.
And while conservative states attracted citizens of all kinds with strong economic policy and the rule of law, Democrat-led states burdened people with never-ending debt. Of the 10 worst-rated states for conservative policy, they shared an average of $6,670 in debt per capita compared with the top 10 conservative states, which averaged $2,190.
Highly rated conservative states also dominate the field when it comes to safety. While conservative states represented the true interests of citizens: defending law enforcement and securing the property of hardworking citizens, Democratic lawmakers worked to “defund the police” and allow people to escape accountability for their actions.
Across the country, George Soros-funded officials favored criminals over the law. In Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner dropped or lost 47% of illegal gun cases in his first two years. In New York, District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated that his day-one policy would be to make prison time a last resort for fighting crime. And in Colorado, the state Legislature voted to make the possession of 4,000 lethal doses of fentanyl just a misdemeanor, essentially giving criminals responsible for the deaths of hundreds a free pass.
It’s no surprise that Black Lives Matter/woke soft-on-crime policies have resulted in crime spiking in cities and states dominated by liberal politicians. Murders, for example, have jumped by almost 50% in New York and 60% in Chicago since 2019. Democratic leaders have done such poor work to provide security that even Starbucks, in all of its woke wisdom, decided to close six stores in its hometown of Seattle, six in Los Angeles, two in Portland, Oregon, one in Philadelphia and one in Washington, D.C.
It has never been clearer that Democratic policies are doing less for Americans — less wealth, less security, and less economic and real freedom.
These kinds of insights are the reason why CPAC leads the way in American politics. Our expansive rating system, which began 11 years ago, ensures that voters get a real idea of whom they are voting for and where they stand on any given policy. It is no longer possible for lawmakers to hide behind excuses and power struggles while in office. At CPAC, we make it crystal clear which politicians are on your side.
• Matt Schlapp is the chairman of CPAC.