Red State or Blue State Trait?

Try to guess whether each trait is more highly correlated with Republican States or Democratic States in the U.S.
Read comments for methodology
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 16, 2020
First submittedOctober 16, 2020
Times taken18,094
Rating4.41
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1. Higher population density
Republican
Democratic
+0.53 Democratic
2. Higher rate of obesity
Republican
Democratic
+0.59 Republican
3. More COVID deaths per capita (through October 15, 2020)
Republican
Democratic
+0.34 Democratic
4. Higher unemployment
Republican
Democratic
+0.57 Democratic
5. Higher incarceration rate
Republican
Democratic
+0.51 Republican
6. Happier citizens (2005–2008, source)
Republican
Democratic
+0.36 Republican
7. Higher church attendance
Republican
Democratic
+0.60 Republican
8. Higher median household income
Republican
Democratic
+0.64 Democratic
9. Higher percentage of adults with a four-year college degree
Republican
Democratic
+0.71 Democratic
10. Higher state and local taxes as a percent of personal income
Republican
Democratic
+0.48 Democratic
11. Higher rate of homelessness
Republican
Democratic
+0.55 Democratic
12. More people moving in from other states than moving out
Republican
Democratic
+0.22 Republican
13. Higher percentage of foreign-born residents
Republican
Democratic
+0.70 Democratic
14. Higher percentage of workforce employed in agriculture
Republican
Democratic
+0.59 Republican
15. Younger average age
Republican
Democratic
+0.31 Republican
+22
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2020
Methodology

First we computed how "red" or "blue" a state was by looking at the percentage of votes given to each party during the 2016 Presidential election.

Then we used Excel's "correlation" function to correlate each trait with how red or blue a state was.

Correlation returns a value between -1 and 1, with 0 being completely uncorrelated.

+109
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2020
I get tired of all the comments on some quizzes that say "look how all the states that have (bad thing) vote for (party I don't like)." I hope this quiz can help educate people that there are good things and bad things about both red states and blue states. If you got a significant number of questions wrong, it may be helpful to examine your biases.
+13
Level 85
Oct 20, 2020
I totally agree, while also recognizing that anonymous comments sections on the internet are not typical places where people will honestly examine their own biases. Though JetPunk is less insular than most places online, so kudos to QM for that. :-)
+9
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
I'm always re-examining my own biases... but maybe that's why I got almost everything right.
+6
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
... though that said the data points picked out for this quiz don't make a very strong case for red states being great places to live in my opinion.
+2
Level 63
Nov 2, 2020
The people there are happier though.

It seems like both have some advantages. Why do you figure the red states are worse?

+11
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
well I am always doubtful of self-reported happiness figures. I think a lot of it has to do with culture and self-delusion. I mean you can find polls where Bangladesh is the happiest country in the world. In a 2012 Gallup survey Panama, Paraguay, and El Salvador top the list. I really don't put much weight in happiness indices or surveys anywhere, and I suspect that this particular stat reported here is simply the corollary of having a population that is less educated and more religious. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Also, from many past comments that QM has made, I assume that he thinks high population density is a bad thing. But as a matter of personal preference I would much rather live in a big, well-connected city than on a farm somewhere with my nearest neighbor being 5 miles away. I understand other people thinking differently.

+4
Level 66
Nov 2, 2020
The happiness data is also 12 years old. It may still be the case that red states are happier, but the country has changed so much since 2008 that it's hard to find that data persuasive.
+7
Level 63
Nov 3, 2020
Interesting point Kalbamahut :)

I agree that Happines hardly correlates with standard of living, but it’s still happiness right? If religion brings the red states more delusional happiness, its still happiness.

And as you say: ignorance is bliss. That bliss is still great for the people experiencing it :)

+2
Level 83
Nov 5, 2020
for some. I was always the odd duck that wanted to know the good reasons and evidence for everything that I believed, and found unsupported beliefs to be upsetting and disconcerting.
+7
Level 46
Nov 2, 2020
Agreed. We are so biased towards our own political parties.
+3
Level 68
Nov 2, 2020
Out of curiosity, how did you rank purple/swing states? Were they included based solely off of 2016 election results, or were they not included because they don't fit solidly into either camp? Knowing about swing states (and living in one myself), I can say that they often sit between solid red + solid blue states in terms of these characteristics. Not criticizing the methodology, just curious how you factored them in :)
+4
Level 65
Nov 2, 2020
as i understand from QM’s post, each state is not either blue or red, but is assigned a value from Very Blue to Very Red, based on the vote percentage in 2016. then this colour value was compared with values for the characteristics to determine correlation.
+1
Level 68
Nov 2, 2020
Oh yeah, that would make a lot of sense. Much better than just assigning states as either "blue" or "red" :)
+1
Level 50
Nov 2, 2020
Agreed. I knew going into this quiz that my political biaseswould affect my answers, and it was really interesting seeing how and what they affected.
+2
Level 65
Nov 3, 2020
I didn't know anything for sure, so I just stereotyped my way through this
+27
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2020
The "Younger Average Age" one is tricky! Because young people themselves tend to vote blue. But blue states have lower birth rates, and thus fewer young people. Also, keep in mind that people under 18 can't vote.
+2
Level 75
Oct 16, 2020
I thought that was probably the easiest one. Certain kind of behavior among conservatives vs. liberals seems to be pretty universal, which, in turn, influences the demographics. Not going into details, but there's plenty of info and evidence out there.
+5
Level 77
Nov 2, 2020
This was the question that probably surprised me the most
+2
Level 75
Oct 16, 2020
Well, I got the two least guessed ones correct. Only the few "could be either way" cases went wrong. Don't toss coins is what we've learned here.
+4
Level 89
Oct 16, 2020
Nice quiz with some surprising results for folks who have formed distinct but apparently false impressions over time (like myself) maybe based in part on media emphases or distortions. The facts are what they are. Now we get to see all the entertaining "But, but, but . . ." comments.
+1
Level 55
Oct 16, 2020
The most surprising stat was that the Dems had the better economy, at least in my opinion because the current republican agenda has been all about economy
+13
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2020
Depends on what you mean by better economy. Democratic states have higher incomes, but greater inequality and higher unemployment. There aren't as many jobs in red states that offer the crazy $300,000+ salaries that are common at places like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. But that doesn't help people who don't have high market value skills. All in all, some people will do better in blue states while other people will do better in red states.
+3
Level 85
Oct 16, 2020
@QM, I think it's important to note that Republican policy can have just as much of an effect in a 'blue state' as any 'red state' and vice versa. Federal policy influences the whole country and plenty of people vote the opposite of what party their state typically votes for.
+1
Level 55
Oct 16, 2020
But @Econ211, the Republican governors are more likely to make policies in their INDIVIDUAL STATES that support the president’s policies
+1
Level 85
Oct 16, 2020
@That1 Yes I know, that's why I said 'can have'. For example, there's no doubt that an economic sector like Silicon Valley (which is in a solid blue state) hasn't benefitted from laissez faire capitalism, which is more often espoused by republicans.
+1
Level 84
Oct 16, 2020
But if you're going to make the argument about federal policy it's a wash. All states are affected by federal policy.
+3
Level 89
Oct 16, 2020
And we have some winners - our first "But . . ."s instead of just enjoying the quiz.
+1
Level 55
Dec 9, 2020
Ok fine, but the blue states have more population, which inevitably leads to more poverty, which leads to inequality
+6
Level 62
Oct 16, 2020
Loved this quiz. Very interesting results, missed a few that I thought would go either way!
+2
Level 59
Oct 17, 2020
Oops, not a high score. Just shows how little I know about US demographics and politics.
+8
Level 79
Oct 17, 2020
Since I don't know much about US politics I solved it asking if the trait in question is more characteristic for an urban or rural population and then go blue for urban cause I know California votes Democrat. Ended up with 13/15.
+2
Level 59
Oct 17, 2020
Republicans are happier. And rain is wet.
+7
Level 62
Oct 18, 2020
I've been getting Trump 2020 ads since I did this quiz...
+4
Level 62
Oct 18, 2020
And immediately after I wrote this comment, I started getting Stand with Obama ads...
+19
Level ∞
Oct 18, 2020
Both parties waste money spending money advertising to people who don't even live in the United States? Why am I not surprised.
+7
Level 86
Oct 19, 2020
I've been seeing some Trump ads telling me to wish him a happy birthday... in completely different months from his actual birthday.
+1
Level 53
Jan 5, 2021
Same as Biden with me
+4
Level 25
Oct 19, 2020
Define ‘happiness’. If access to better higher education, job opportunities and healthcare are used as metrics it’s definitely going to be in favour of the blue states.

Edit: you might want to update an 11 year old study.

+5
Level 85
Oct 20, 2020
You clearly didn't take the Happiness related quizzes posted recently. It's self reported.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that people's self-described happiness is more related to an individual's outlook on life rather than being tied to work/wealth/healthcare.

+15
Level ∞
Oct 22, 2020
I know self-reported data should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, people lie. But, when it comes to happiness? You just have to ask people. I can imagine this now. "How can you be happy? Our data shows you have a low income, eat french fries, and haven't seen a doctor in a year". It imposes the values of the surveyor over the individual. Its deeply insulting if you think about it. If someone told me I'm not happy because of some external factor, I'd tell them where to shove it. Then I'd tell them to read some stoic philosophy. Happiness is a state of mind.
+1
Level 76
Nov 3, 2020
It is hard to compare happiness. I could imagine that a housewife from a patriarchal culture would say she is happy, because she was brought up under the notion that being committed to family equals happiness, regardless of what she really feels. The same man may consider himself happy one day and unhappy the next day, or even the next minute, based on something that happened in his life. As for myself, I would reject the question outright but maybe I'm just being philosophical. Happiness is an ambiguous concept.
+1
Level 74
Oct 19, 2020
wow...younger average age? That seems...incorrect.
+4
Level ∞
Oct 22, 2020
It's true. A lot of blue states in the northeast are very old. But this is one of the weaker correlations on the quiz.
+7
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
Younger voters skew Democratic. I think that's why it's counter-intuitive.
+1
Level 28
Nov 2, 2020
The misconception I too fell for was that young people lean Democratic, so it must be blue that's younger. AND, it really is true that the Democratic party is younger than the Republican party (per Pew Research Center). However, what's asked in the quiz is whether the blue states themselves are younger, which is not the case partly due to blue states' lower fertility rates.
+3
Level 85
Oct 20, 2020
Surprised myself a bit by getting 15/15. Not surprised to see the COVID and unemployment questions with such low scores. I WAS surprised by the low scores for the younger age and the "moving in" questions. Rural (read "red") states will almost always have higher birth rates than urban (read "blue") states, while I thought it was more common knowledge that states like Texas and Florida are getting flooded with people leaving states like California and NY/NJ.
+1
Level 65
Oct 22, 2020
12/15! Didn't get the unemployment, Covid and average age questions! Really interesting quiz though. Also really interesting to see that roughly 50% (as of right now) have either chosen Republicans or democrats for the happiness question. Only chose Rep because of the two quizzes on migration between states, where blue states were a source of people leaving while red states got a lot of new people.
+4
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
#3 is going to flip pretty soon. And #12 I don't even think should be on here because the more people you have moving in to the state the more it becomes Democratic.. a state might start leaning Republican but once the economy starts producing decent jobs for educated people Democrats start moving in. Look at Georgia and Texas. Going to be Democratic before long.
+4
Level 55
Nov 2, 2020
who cares
+2
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
Ramba, you apparently cared enough to comment, so, you?
+1
Level 28
Nov 2, 2020
By the time demographics ensure Texas and Georgia are decisively Democratic by today's measures, it is likely that a major political shift will occur that will push these states either into swing state territory or Republican strongholds. Though no doubt Texas and Georgia will be more liberal states by then.
+2
Level 76
Nov 2, 2020
Or other states will become Republican as a sort of compensation. Looks like this is already happening in the rust belt.
+2
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
But there's a chance they could go Democratic this year. If you look at the states that are solidly Republican... those are not the states that people are moving into. Texas used to be pretty solidly Republican, but the fact that so many people are moving into it is changing the state.
+5
Level ∞
Nov 2, 2020
There are so many possibilities. In the future Texas could go blue, but the "left behind" states in the Midwest and Northeast could turn red. Another scenario is that Hispanics and African Americans start to become more and more Republican, which we seem to be witnessing in this election. However it shakes out, a major realignment seems likely, with the Republicans eventually becoming the party of the working classes.
+1
Level 76
Nov 2, 2020
The difference between "of" and "for" is vital.
+1
Level 28
Nov 2, 2020
I suppose it will all come down to what politically motivates people [that vote] in the future. If whites become truly racially motivated like minorities today, expect states to vote along racial lines in the future, rather than today's urban-rural divide.

I do think this will happen since what motivates whites to adopt identity politics will become even more pronounced in the future. That is to say, as whites become less and less of a majority, they will feel more and more threatened, compelling them to truly band together to remove said threats, whether real or imagined.

I'd like to say that this is not a new phenomenon; every single anti-immigration act in the past 200 years was because whites in a state felt threatened by immigrants "taking their jobs", and similar sentiment caused Jim Crow laws + lynchings + massacres against blacks.

How the political parties adapt to this future will be interesting, to say the least, but not really my concern.

+7
Level 78
Nov 2, 2020
The distance between the winning and losing percentages for the past seven presidential elections isn't huge.The widest gap was between Obama and McCain in 2008 with 53% to 46%. Bush and Gore were nearly tied in 2000 at around 48% each. It's not as though one party is dominating any election with 70 - 80% of the votes. It doesn't take a lot to swing the vote to the opposing party and I think that's a good thing. States that were solidly Democratic when I was young are now solidly red and vice versa. As QM said, population movements and events can change things. That's why I never liked the labels of Red or Blue states because in many states the numbers of voters that are one party or the other aren't much different, but when a state gets a Red or Blue label it is assumed that everyone in the state is the same, and that just isn't true.
+1
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
Very true, ander, and I thought of making a similar point myself. There's not really any such thing as a red state or a blue state.
+2
Level 28
Nov 2, 2020
I agree with with everything said, but would like to point out that generally "red state" and "blue state" also represents which party controls the state government, which often has more of an impact on people than federal government. Unrelated note, but it sucks that a state's people can be 48% to 52% while the majority party is in de facto 99% control of the state government.
+2
Level 66
Nov 2, 2020
Well that's what districts are for. The executive is often controlled by the majority party, but people seem increasingly to think of the head of the executive to be an emperor. Their power is vast, but not limited. They're the head of only one of three coequal branches. The representation in the legislature usually better reflects the population of the state. In Illinois, where I live, the House has 118 members: 73 Democrats and 44 Republicans (one seat is currently vacant). Most of Illinois's population is concentrated in and around Chicago, so this 2-to-1 ratio fairly reflects the population of the state.
+3
Level 68
Nov 3, 2020
Agree with everything. Another point worth mentioning is that "blue" and "red" are in and of themselves vague terms. Republicans and Democrats don't identify with one ideology: there are tons of Libertarian Republicans that hate military spending and support the legalization of marijuana (among other things), and there are many religious Democrats who are pro-life and not entirely supportive of gay rights (among other things). This means that red states in the Deep South, like Mississippi, are often very different politically and culturally from red states in the Northwest, like Montana (same with East v West Coast blue states).
+6
Level 65
Nov 2, 2020
MAGA 2020

KEEP AMERICA GREAT

+10
Level 72
Nov 2, 2020
No.
+5
Level 49
Nov 2, 2020
No.
+7
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
Trump has been the worst president in US history hands down and the country is not doing great.
+1
Level 74
Nov 2, 2020
I personally think he is a great president, but I can see how people don't like him. If you are a democrat, he is potentially the worst president for you since World War 2. But there were some pretty horrendous presidents from our past. He's definitely worse than James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding or Woodrow Wilson.
+7
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
even Republican, independent, and libertarian historians rank Trump in the bottom 2-4 presidents of all time. Democratic historians rank him at the bottom. He is objectively horrible. More divisive and unwilling to act than Buchanan, more inept and disinterested in responding to disasters than Pierce, more corrupt and far stupider than Harding, more deserving of impeachment than Johnson. ... not as racist as Wilson, but not too far off, and Wilson was actually a good president in many other ways.
+7
Level 66
Nov 2, 2020
I do bristle at this notion that any disdain for Trump is purely partisan. He has failed in so many respects that it's hard to keep up. And the list of conservatives who detest him is always growing. His supporters brush this aside as "the establishment," which is a convenient way of ignoring the criticisms of people who have devoted their lives to conservative causes. Historians, scientists, international relations experts...pretty much every group with any kind of expertise ranks him as terrible. His supporters seem to think he is some kind of mascot for their causes. But most of the president's day-to-day requires attention to detail and high-order thinking in which Trump has no interest. He's doing an awful lot of harm.
+2
Level 63
Nov 2, 2020
Great quiz! I really like how you used the party animals. Is there enough data to add the Liberitarians or Green party in a similar quiz?
+3
Level 71
Nov 2, 2020
This is based on whether a state went "blue" or "red" (i.e., whether their electoral college votes went to the Democrats or the Republicans) in the 2016 presidential election. Since no states went to the Green party or the Libertarians, it wouldn't be possible without changing the basis of the quiz.
+10
Level 66
Nov 2, 2020
I think a lot of these differences arise from the fact that the big cities are democratic and rural areas are republican. And it's clear that for example there are more homeless people in cities, and a higher median household income. You can't conclude from this quiz that, for example, democrats can't handle the homelessness problem, or democrats make stronger economies.
+1
Level 49
May 9, 2021
Exactly, same with Covid being more prevalent in bigger cities.
+4
Level 65
Nov 2, 2020
Go Trump!
+8
Level 49
Nov 2, 2020
bro you dont even live in the north american continent
+2
Level 76
Nov 3, 2020
The elections will have repercussions around the globe.
+2
Level 83
Nov 3, 2020
yes, please, go... and do not collect $200
+3
Level 41
Nov 2, 2020
I (from Czechia) have wrong "Higher incarceration rate" and "Younger average age".
+2
Level 83
Nov 2, 2020
not bad
+1
Level 70
Nov 2, 2020
2005-2008
+2
Level 49
Nov 2, 2020
That age one is surprising
+2
Level 55
Nov 2, 2020
On nov 4th, their will be a mad rush to finish making the “states that trump won in 2020”, and the states that biden won quizzes.
+1
Level 46
Nov 3, 2020
The only answer that shocked me was the red states are young then the blue states. Everything else was either easy to know or it was something that I can see both party’s states having.
+2
Level 65
Nov 3, 2020
I feel like Americans are born and slapped on the butt with an R or a D and then go home and put in their cribs to watch a mobile of little elephants or donkeys floating above them. Branded for life as part of one of two parties. It's so engrained in all you do and not in a good way always. It seems more and more to be less about being "American" warts and all (and yes there are many warts) than being GOP or Democrat. If you google someone, you know their party affiliation and how they voted or were at least registered to vote. In Canada for example, yes people are passionately for one party over another many times but you aren't labelled as such in your daily life. You wouldn't necessarily know their political affiliation unless you knew them or asked. You couldn't necessarily tell either by where they live. We don't say that people live in a "red province" or whatever. Few places in Canada have been consistently one party over the other every time. Just observations here.
+2
Level 78
Nov 3, 2020
That doesn't apply to me. My mother was Republican and my father Democrat, as were my grandmother and grandfather who lived nearby. It's probably why I consider myself a moderate and I've voted for members of both parties as well as third parties in my voting lifetime.
+4
Level 66
Nov 3, 2020
And I feel like you are making a gross and inaccurate generalization about Americans. It is a particularly tense time here politically, so things are exacerbated. But if you look at Mississippi, maybe the "reddest" state in the Union, 40% of its votes in 2016 went to Hillary Clinton. In Massachusetts, maybe the "bluest" state, 33% of votes went to Trump. And people's allegiances change over time. Many conservatives are voting for Biden this time around. Last time around, many former Democrats (especially in unions) switched to Trump. Moreover, a Republican in Manhattan very likely has different priorities than a Republican in rural Arkansas does. The two parties themselves contain many factions and varying political beliefs. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden differ considerably on many issues. As do Mitt Romney and Donald Trump. Americans can think just fine, thank you. We don't get assigned a letter at birth and never revisit the issue.
+3
Level 76
Nov 3, 2020
To most of us foreigners, the United States looks like a crazy reality show as the news don't show the daily lives of Americans and the last few years have been especially polarizing. So many people here believe that the average American is a racist, gun-wielding, uneducated Trump fan. We don't like to be stereotyped by Americans, but so much of what we "know" about America is stereotypes.
+1
Level 65
Nov 3, 2020
I know there is a spectrum beliefs in terms of Dems and GOP but still states are labelled as "red" or "blue" states and that doesn't change as often as it does in Canada, as an example. My point is that here in Canada we would never label a Province as "red" or "blue" or "orange" because it is not nearly as frequently the same colour two elections in a row. That's really all I meant. You couldn't make this quiz about Canada cause the answers would change every few years more so than they would in America. My assumptions are logical and justifiable based on what we see on American TV and in the media and Americans I know personally and even in Jet Punk quizzes!
+1
Level 73
Nov 4, 2020
Basing your assumptions off of American TV and the media is probably not the wisest thing to do.
+2
Level 76
Nov 4, 2020
TravelingMama, shouldn't that have been clear from my comment?
+1
Level 76
Nov 4, 2020
And charchar, I don't know whether it is Americans or Canadians that are special in this regard. One of our states in Germany has been loyal to the same party for 50+ years, and others have also been tied to one side for a long time. Commitment to a certain party was very strong until around 20-30 years ago. In the United Kingdom and Italy, there are no states in the same way but regions are known as labour or "red" (a different red than in the US of course). I don't know how it is in other countries.
+1
Level 73
Nov 5, 2020
I was responding to charchar.
+1
Level 76
Nov 5, 2020
Sorry.
+1
Level 76
Nov 3, 2020
I observe a similar polarization in Germany, although to a lesser degree because our "Trumpists" hover at around 10% of the vote. But everything tends to be politicized nowadays and the us vs. them attitude is getting stronger.
+1
Level 49
Apr 21, 2021
The more I see the more I think Europeans (and I include myself in this) don't really understand what Trumpism is at all or why it has become popular.
+1
Level 83
Nov 3, 2020
I've been independent and without party affiliation my whole life.
+1
Level 22
Nov 4, 2020
I admit I am biased but alot of the gloomy answers were Democrats.
+1
Level 63
Nov 5, 2020
Look at how poorly the liberals on this site did! I hope it's an introspective moment for them.
+3
Level 83
Nov 5, 2020
What are you even talking about?
+2
Level 55
Nov 6, 2020
I got 15/15, on my 2nd attempt, and I want biden to win. What point are you even trying to make, and where is your proof?
+1
Level 83
Nov 7, 2020
I think he's trying to say that the answers of the quiz prove that "liberal" states are somehow bad... failing simultaneously to understand the point of the quiz and at the English language.
+5
Level 65
Nov 8, 2020
From a non-american, its so easy to see by looking at the comments here why you will never get along lol. stop making politics your identities and maybe you will shoot and run over each other less
+1
Level 49
Apr 21, 2021
Interesting how the weight of guesses is very much "good = Democrat", except in the singular case of homelessness: 72% of people have expected Democrat-run states to have higher levels of homelessness. Knowing next to nothing about American politics, I wonder why that would be.
+1
Level 49
May 9, 2021
higher covid for democrats because cities