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Democrat ≠ Liberal 

... At Least, Not in Louisiana

  A Feb. 3 Gallup poll found Louisiana to be the fifth-most self-identified conservative state in the country, just behind Mississippi, Utah, Wyoming and Alabama. The results came from phone surveys of more than 218,000 Americans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted during Gallup's daily tracking polls in 2011.

  Unlike other polls that ask for party registration, Gallup's "State of the States" asked respondents if they consider themselves "conservative," "moderate" or "liberal." 48.5 percent of Louisianans opted for conservative and 34 percent said moderate. Liberal was the choice of only 13.7 percent of Louisianans — the third-lowest in the nation; only Mississippi and Alabama had fewer liberals.

  The lesson? Democrat doesn't necessarily equal liberal, at least not in the Pelican State. Numbers provided by Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office showed that more than 1.4 million Louisianans are registered Democrats — almost twice as many as registered Republicans (773,183).

  Where are all the self-identified liberals? The District of Columbia topped the list, followed by Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington and New York. — KEVIN ALLMAN

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