The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States

Detroit, Michigan and Provo, Utah each top the Bay Area Center for Voting Research’s (BACVR) lists of the nation’s most liberal and conservative cities, respectively. Surveying United States cities with a population over 100,000, BACVR found that the top twenty-five most liberal and conservative cities in America come from a wide variety of regions across the nation.

Of the most liberal cities, Detroit heads up the list with 93.96% of voters casting votes for liberal candidates in the 2004 presidential election, followed by Gary, Indiana with 93.08% of the voting going to liberal presidential candidates, and Berkeley, California in third with a 92.76% total for liberals. Other cities in the top twenty five in descending order are the following: the District of Columbia; Oakland, CA; Inglewood, CA; Newark, NJ; Cambridge, MA; San Francisco, CA; Flint, MI; Cleveland, OH; Hartford, CT; Paterson, NJ; Baltimore, MD; New Haven, CT; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA; Birmingham, AL; St. Louis, MO; New York, NY; Providence, RI; Minneapolis, MN; Boston, MA; and Buffalo, NY. Provo, UT heads up the top twenty-five conservative cities with 86% of the vote going to conservative presidential candidates in 2004, followed by Lubbock, TX at 74.81% conservative support, and Abilene, TX in third with 72.80% of its voters choosing conservative candidates. The remaining cities in the top twenty-five in descending order are: Hialeah, FL; Plano, TX; Colorado Springs, CO; Gilbert, AZ; Bakersfield, CA; Lafayette, LA; Orange, CA; Escondido, CA; Allentown, PA; Mesa, AZ; Arlington, TX; Peoria, AZ; Cape Coral, FL; Garden Grove, CA; Simi Valley, CA; Corona, CA; Clearwater, FL; West Valley City, UT; Oklahoma City, OK; Overland Park, KS; Anchorage, AK; and Huntington Beach, CA.

America’s voting patterns are split by region, with the Midwest and Northeastpredominantly voting for liberal candidates, and the West (with the exception of the coast) and South voting for more conservative candidates. These results confirm the preconceived notions that many have about the conservative nature of the South and liberal nature of the Northeast, but also surprisingly found conservative trends in the West and liberal leanings in the Midwest that defy traditional stereotypes about these areas of the country.

A number of important demographic factors determine whether cities vote for liberals or conservatives, with race being the most important factor. Cities with predominantly large African American populations ended up as the most liberal cities in America, while the cities with the largest Caucasian populations wound up as the most conservative. These strong correlations seem to indicate that African American votes continue to support primarily liberal candidates. A survey of income and economic status indicates that poorer and less educated than average regions also tend to vote for liberal candidates at a higher rate than their conservative counterparts, indicating that liberal candidates may be ahead in capturing those with concerns about the state of government run social programs and poverty.

Another major correlation appears between marriage rate and the tendency to vote for conservative candidates, as liberal cities appeared to have more single voters than conservative cities with marriage rates at or above the national average. This data indicates that family centered voters surprisingly voted more for conservative candidates, demonstrating the success of conservative candidates to appear as the more moral, family oriented candidates in a way that did not appeal as much to single voters. Population size also seems to have a significant effect, with larger urban environments tending to favor liberal candidates by a wider margin than those with smaller population sizes, demonstrating the success of liberal candidates in large metropolitan areas where concerns about social programs and poverty spoken of against theincumbent Bush administration were most salient. Suburban or mid-sized cities were on the whole more conservative and split in the 2004 presidential election, with conservative candidates receiving more votes in these areas than from their urban counterparts. These demographic issues indicate that racial makeup, income rates, regional location, marital status, and population size all combine to affect the propensity of American cities to vote on either side of the ideological spectrum.


The Twenty-Five Most Conservative Cities in America The Bay Area Center for Voting Research finds that the top twenty five conservative cities in America share many common characteristics, including larger that average Caucasian populations, a large percentage of married couples, smaller city size, and higher income and education level than average. The top twenty five conservative cities come primarily from the South, non-coastal areas of the West, and Southern California, which is indicative of a conservative voting trend in these two regions.

The city of Provo, Utah tops the list of the twenty-five most conservative cities in the United States. Located approximated forty-five minutes from Salt Lake City, Provo is a relatively small city by the scale of this study, with a population of 105,166. Founded by Brigham Young, Provo has a strong Mormon background, with Brigham Young University located in its city limits. Provo’s religious background, small town feel, and large Caucasian population all combine to make it the most conservative city in the United States. Analysis of current voting data shows that 86% of registered voters in the city voted for Bush or other third party conservative candidates, while 14% voted for Kerry or other third party liberal candidates.

Lubbock, Texas came in second place, with 75% of the registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate, while 25% of the population voted for a liberal candidate. The city of Abilene, Texas came in third place on the list, with 73% of the registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate, while 25% voted for a liberal candidate. The city of Hialeah, Florida followed in fourth place, with 71% of the registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate, while 29% voted for a liberal candidate. The city of Plano, Texas completes the top five, with 68% of the registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate and 32% voting for a liberal candidate. Rounding out the top ten are the following five cities, in descending order: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Gilbert, Arizona; Bakersfield,California; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Orange, California. All of these five cities displayed results of over 64% of their registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate and over 32% for a liberal candidate.

The next set of seven cities all display over 62% of their registered voter population voting for a conservative candidate and 37% for a liberal candidate. They consist, in descending order, of the following: Escondido, California; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Mesa, Arizona; Arlington, Texas; Peoria Arizona, and Cape Coral, Florida. The next set of six cities all display over 61% of their registered voter populations voting for a conservative candidate and over 38% for a liberal candidate. They consist, in descending order, of the following: Garden Grove, California;  Simi Valley, California; Corona, California; Clearwater, Florida; West Valley City, Utah; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The remaining three cities all have over 60% of their registered population voting for a conservative candidate and over 39% for a liberal candidate. They consist, in descending order, of Overland Park, Kansas; Anchorage, Alaska; and Huntington Beach, California.

Altogether, the top twenty-five most conservative cities are composed of twelve cities from the West: seven cities from California, three from Arizona, and two from Utah. There are two cities from the mid-west that are located in Colorado and Kansas. There are nine cities located in the south: four from Texas, three from Florida, one from Louisiana, and one from Oklahoma. Finally, there are one city each in Pennsylvania and Alaska. Below is a chart of the twenty-five most conservative cities in America with the percentage of votes for either liberal or conservative candidates.

• The Bay Area Center for Voting Research • www.votingresearch.org • 510-528-0110 •

The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States (full report)

Originally posted 2011-05-22 02:00:13.