The Opportunity Index measures 16 indicators, and scores all 50 states plus Washington DC on a scale of 0-100 each year. They look at three areas: Jobs and Local Economy; Education; and Community Health and Civic Life. Each state receives a score, and you can view how they rank here.
For our intentions, red states are ones that voted for Romney in the 2012 election cycle, while blue states voted for Obama. Knowing a state is a red state or a blue state may not be the definitive determination of a state’s policies and political ideology, but it is at least an indicator. Nevada, for example, which ranks 51 on this list, voted for Obama in 2012. However, the state’s tax policy indicates the state has a very conservative leaning, at least when it comes to economic/ tax policy.
Conservative states dominate the bottom of the Opportunity Index.
Looking at the Opportunity Index’s state rankings compared to the electoral map of 2012 indicates that states with conservative ideologies generally have fewer opportunities than their blue counterparts. Blue states dominate the top 30 by more than a 2-to-1 margin, while conservative states nearly have a 3-to-1 margin in the bottom 20 (see chart below).