Tennessee county tops list as most conservative
Williamson County, near the center of Tennessee, leans definitely to the right, according to calculations by the Daily Caller web site. The Daily Caller ranks Williamson as the most conservative county in the U.S.
John McCain got 69 percent of Williamson County’s votes in the 2008 presidential election. The county has a very high median household income, when cost of living is factored into the equation. Its largest city is Franklin, Tenn., and its 2009 population was 176,838. Country music performers, including Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood, call it home.
The Daily Caller used 12 measures in developing its ranking of most conservative county, including:
- How counties have voted in the past two presidential elections
- Median household income, factoring in cost of living
- Home ownership percentage
- Married family percentage
- Civilian veteran percentage
- State unionization laws, whether a right-to-work state or mandatory union state
- State tax burden — state income taxes, factoring in available deductions
- State concealed weapons laws, ease of carrying weapon legally
- State weekly religious attendance, as measured by Pew
- State abortion laws, as measured by Americans United for Life
Also in the top 5 most conservative counties:
2. Forsyth County, Ga.
3. Montgomery County, Texas
4. Shelby County, Ala.
5. Hamilton County, Ind.
Georgia had four counties in the top 20 most conservative, followed by Texas with three, and Colorado and Ohio with two each.
Govpro.com will post the most liberal county rankings in a few days.
Do national political labels have an effect on county government budgets and taxes? Fox News contributor and former star of the television series, “M*A*S*H,” Wayne Rogers, doesn’t think so.
“Counties do not caucus according to party affiliation. This is unlike the U.S. Congress. Consequently, party affiliation is subordinated to individual issues. Tax policy, budgets, etc. are, therefore, local and tend to reflect local influence and individual preference as opposed to party bias. It’s certainly true in the counties where I reside,” Rogers told Govpro.com.
Jacqueline Byers, director of research for the Washington-based National Association of Counties, adds: “County officials have told me that national politics have nothing to do at all with getting the snow off the street or delivering other county services. It is indeed a local matter, and NACo doesn’t collect any data on the topic.” NACo is a national organization representing the 3,000-plus counties in the U.S.
The Daily Caller is a 24-hour news site providing original reporting, commentary and breaking news.
Govpro.com recently presented a most liberal county ranking.
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