CommunityPam's House Blend

America's most liberal and conservative cities?

The Bay Area Center for Voting Research came up with these rankings based on data from 237 American cities with populations over 100,000, and based its results on the percentage of voters choosing a liberal or conservative candidate in the 2004 presidential election.

America’s most conservative cities

1 Provo, Utah
2 Lubbock, Texas
3 Abilene, Texas
4 Hialeah, Florida
5 Plano, Texas
6 Colorado Springs, Colorado
7 Gilbert, Arizona
8 Bakersfield, California
9 Lafayette, Louisiana
10 Orange, California
11 Escondido, California
12 Allentown, Pennsylvania
13 Mesa, Arizona
14 Arlington, Texas
15 Peoria, Arizona

America’s most liberal cities

1 Detroit, Michigan
2 Gary, Indiana
3 Berkeley, California
4 District of Columbia
5 Oakland, California
6 Inglewood, California
7 Newark, New Jersey
8 Cambridge, Massachusetts
9 San Francisco, California
10 Flint, Michigan
11 Cleveland, Ohio
12 Hartford, Connecticut
13 Paterson, New Jersey
14 Baltimore, Maryland
15 New Haven, Connecticut

House Blender Paul noted that most cities on the liberal list have a high minority population, which contributes to their ranking. addresses that factor in its article on this study.

“While there are a few liberal cities without large African-American populations, these wind up being the exceptions,” wrote researcher Phil Reiff. “These liberal, white communities, however, are more reminiscent of penguins clustered together around a shrinking iceberg than of a vibrant and growing political movement.”

You can go further down the list, see here for liberal, here for conservative.

I can tell you right now, based on the ranking of Durham (61) vs. Birmingham (19) on the Liberal list, something is definitely wrong with that model if “Liberal” is supposed to mean “safer for gays to be out.” [BTW, Raleigh was 88.] For instance Dayton, Ohio (42), Jackson, Mississippi (46). Akron, Ohio (48), 50 Richmond, Virginia (50), Toledo, Ohio (53) are pretty high up on the same list, yet Ohio passed a marriage amendment, Virginia has the most completely anti-gay legislation on the books and well, Mississippi…never mind.

I think that this oddity in the findings is meaningful, and should give Dems pause about what we’re seeing here in these cities in the middle of the pack. There is a schism in what it means to be liberal/progressive when you mix the gay factor and the black vote in the politics outside the big cities. I’ve talked about this problem over and over, but I’m only one of a few voices that seems to be concerned about this. Much remains undiscussed. What does it really mean to be progressive in flyover country?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding