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The most liberal and conservative cities revealed in one chart

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Conservatism,Liberalism,Pew Research Center,Becket Adams

Cities everywhere in America tend to lean to the left, even the ones in conservative states like Texas, according to a new report from the American Political Science Review.

And in case you were wondering which cities are the most liberal and which are the most conservative, the new report may be able to answer that question.

The survey is based on “data from seven large-scale opinion surveys, conducted between 2000 and 2011” that measure “public policy preference in 51 cities with populations of more than 250,000,” the Pew Research Center explains.

The results are about what you’d expect: The most liberal cities can be found in New York and California, while the most conservative cities are located in Oklahoma and Arizona.

The following chart comes via the Economist:



There were a few surprises in the American Political Science Review’s report: Colorado Springs and Virginia Beach are among the most conservative cities in America, which is interesting considering those states are slowly going from purple to blue.

“Overall, the liberal tilt of big cities is unmistakable. Even cities with conservative reputations (such as Dallas, Santa Ana, Calif. and Cincinnati) show up as left-of-center, if only slightly,” Pew reported.

Of course, this shouldn’t come as too great of a surprise. As I noted in an earlier article, conservatives tend to prefer smaller, more rural areas, while liberals prefer living in urban areas, according to Pew research data.


Lastly, as noted by the American Political Science Review, the data on political leanings and U.S. cities suggests that rather than being apolitical, municipal policies do indeed reflect residents' policy preferences.

“[C]ities with more liberal populations tend to get more liberal policy ... collect more taxes per capita and have substantially higher expenditures per capita. ... This suggests that not only is city government political, but that it may have more in common with state and national politics than previous scholars have recognized,” the report reads.

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