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WeHo Is One of the Most Liberal Cities in the U.S., But 8 Other California Cities Have Us Beat

Thu, Nov 02, 2017   By David Warren    2 Comments


West Hollywood is one of the 100 most liberal cities in the US, but not as liberal as cities like Berkeley or San Francisco. That is according to a report by WeHo by the Numbers.

The report relies on estimates developed by two professors, Chris Tausanovitch of UCLA and Chris Warshaw of MIT. They used survey and demographic data to estimate the policy preferences of residents in 1,638 cities and towns with at least 20,000 residents. Each city got a score representing the average “policy conservatism” of its residents.

The report uses those scores as a left-right political spectrum. The left end is anchored by Berkeley as the most liberal city. It has the lowest score, around -1.0. Cedar City, Utah is at the right end. Its high score — close to 0.7 — makes it the most conservative city on the spectrum.

The chart accompanying this article shows the percentage of cities and towns that sit at various points along the political spectrum. Based on those percentages, the center of the political spectrum is just a bit below zero. Taking population into account, the center is farther to the left, because larger cities are more likely to be liberal.

The two most liberal cities in the United States are in California, according to the estimates. They are Berkeley and San Francisco, which score -1.0. Oakland is also on the top 10 list with -0.9, but West Hollywood is not. Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Wash. are there, both with -0.9 scores. Two Boston-area communities make the list: Cambridge at -0.9 and Brookline at -0.8. Boston itself just misses at #11. Two New Jersey communities, Orange (-0.9) and East Orange (-0.8), are in the top 10. They are near New York City. One Chicago-area city, Evanston (-0.8), rounds out the list.
West Hollywood is not as liberal as Berkeley or San Francisco, according to the estimates. West Hollywood’s score is roughly -0.6. The cities on the top 10 list range from -1.0 to -0.8.

West Hollywood’s number still puts it among the 100 most liberal cities and towns with 20,000-plus residents. It ranks #64, but it could easily be higher or lower. There is a lot of uncertainty in the estimates for small cities. At the extreme ends, West Hollywood could rank in the top 10 or fall out of the top 250.

If we focus on California, West Hollywood makes the top 10 most-liberal list. It comes in at #9. Seven of the cities on the list are in the Bay Area. They are led by Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland. The other Bay Area cities are Palo Alto (-0.8), El Cerrito (-0.6), Mountain View (-0.6), and Richmond (-0.6). The two remaining cities are Santa Monica (-0.6) and Santa Cruz (-0.7), which on the central coast.

To see how West Hollywood compares to nearby cities, see the full report, Where does West Hollywood fall on the national political spectrum?

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David Warren

About David Warren

David Warren, the founder of WeHo by the Numbers, is a West Hollywood resident who explores community issues and the city government’s work through numbers. He welcomes suggestions and corrections at WeHoByTheNumbers.com.

View all posts by David Warren →

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2 Comments

  1. John Patrick MackeyFri, Nov 03, 2017 at 9:25 am

    They laughed in 1984 when I told my friends that we would win Cityhood and have a top bond rating within three years. This, of course, all came to pass. Instead of having city council meetings at 9am, we not only held them at night, and televised live on the municipal access channel. There were barely any curb-cuts when cityhood happened; quickly, that changed, pronto. Those first councilmembers kept card table rooms from becoming legal.Working with the sheriff to assign LGBTQ-friendly officers, the council deserves praise.

  2. Joshua88Thu, Nov 02, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    If you were to study many of the comments HERE, you would notice that WeHo has a great deal of conservative people. Not politically conservative, but absolutely conservative, nonetheless. Why else would we keep electing the same WeHo leadership for almost three decades? Why do people complain about the same general issues year after year? Because there is no “progressive” leadership. The first thing to realize, is Don’t Kid Yourselves.

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