By Ja Kaufmann and Caroline Shepard

Staff Writers

Democrat or Republican? Liberal or Conservative? Maybe even the occasional Moderate or Independent. With so many people from so many states, you’re bound to find at least one of each. The typical introductions at CONA usually don’t include in-depth talks regarding your political theology. They don’t ask, and neither do you. Yet we assume we know someone’s political party based on where they came from. What is it that makes you think that someone from the West Coast is a liberal, or that someone from the South is a conservative? All of these are stereotypes, but is there any truth to them?

After collecting data from attending delegates, we found that of all the regions, only two were true to their stereotypes, Midwest and West, which were both classified as liberal. On the flipside, everyone always thinks of the South as very conservative, but shockingly, the Southerners we spoke with were overwhelmingly liberal. Other regions, such as the Great Lakes, Western and Mountain regions, also had misleading stereotypes. If all but two stereotypes were wrong, then where did they come from, and how did they catch hold?

“Economic conditions definitely affect regional stereotypes, but it really just depends on how the cards fall,” said Florida delegate Matt Keen. The fluctuating economy is definitely a deciding factor, since public opinion is the main tool affecting politics. However, as Hannah Hightower of the Missouri delegation says, ”I consider myself pretty open-minded.” This supports the correct liberal stereotype of the Midwest. After piecing together the data and comparing results to stereotypes, our conclusion is that more often than not, stereotypes are incorrect due to the fast pace of change.

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