August 12, 2005

Friday Random Political Rankings

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 12, 2005 6:35 PM

Via Kevin Drum, the Bay Area Center for Voting Research has ranked US cities from most liberal to most conservative. No one here will be surprised that this fine city of Berkeley comes in at #3 most liberal, although I'm a bit impressed we beat out Cambridge, MA. (Go team! Or something.) Pasadena is #52 on the liberal list, which was a surprise—I'd have thought they were a bit more conservative. (They're ahead of Eugene, OR!) Also surprising: Dallas more liberal than Austin, and Atlanta to the left of both cities. (Mason, you want to dispute that?)

Tags: Lists, Politics

When it comes to voting, Atlanta is actually quite liberal. (It's proverbially called "an island of blue in a sea of red".) The part where being conservative comes in is in their local religious views. They are more conservative from that perspective than many other places, but many of the same people there who are conservative in those respects are liberal in other respects. The other effect that can color the interactions I have had and witnessed there is that there are a lot of people who work in Atlanta but live elsewhere, so presumably none of those people would be counted. Things get really complicated when considering the fact that Atlanta intersects with 4 different counties, so I can't even figure out what districts they're counting. (There was one district that used to intersect with 11 different counties, but I think it was declared illegal, so I assume they've redistricted by now.)

The other personal thing that perhaps colors my view versus these statistics the most: When it comes to conservative versus liberal issues, I am most sensitive to the religious ones by far.

Anyway, I'm much happier where I'm living now.

I'm curious why Detroit would be #1 liberal. That seems kind of odd. Dallas #32 liberal seems completely out of whack, but they're another city that's pretty weird.

Pasadena, TX was 40th most conservative on this list.

The other thing worth mentioning is that ranking systems are notoriously sensitive to small changes in methodology, so that could be adding a lot of noise as well. That wouldn't remove all the surprises, but I'm sure explains some of them.

Posted by: Mason | August 13, 2005 12:24 AM

What I find interesting is their conclusion that "liberal=black, conservative=white". While that may be the case in some areas such as Detroit and Washington, DC, that doesn't seem to connect with Berkeley, SF, and San Jose, which have larger Asian and Latino populations. Plus, it certainly seems like the power structures in most of the Bay Area, the country's most liberal region (shocked, SHOCKED, I am, to discover such a conclusion... What about the BA conservative stronghold of... and also... and don't forget...) seems to be predominantly white. Cambridge, Flint, and Seattle are also predominantly white, though I am unsure about some of the other cities.

Too bad Santa Cruz was too small to be included in the survey...

Posted by: Chris LS | August 13, 2005 7:25 AM

Actually, given the whole conservative-liberal issue of big cities versus small towns, it would have made sense to relax the size requirements somewhat.

Posted by: Mason | August 13, 2005 2:23 PM

this comment is actually irrelevant to the thread but I wanted to bring this link to AG's attention. Think of it as a public service announcement.

Posted by: Dad | August 16, 2005 9:53 AM

One day, he said, he found a copy of the video in his front yard with a note that said, "Jesus has returned."

Whoever did that is my new hero. This sounds like a good film for a MST3K treatment.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | August 16, 2005 11:39 AM
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