Most large cities are known to have a great amount of diversity from residents to visitors, businesses and organizations, and even community events! While this is true, there are some areas where large cities are much more unified, one of which is in political beliefs. So, is Columbus, Ohio a conservative city?
Columbus, Ohio is not a conservative city. The city supports many liberal views and ideals in a variety of areas. Columbus shows liberalism in recent voting statistics, financial contributions made to political party campaigns, pro-abortion views, and in elected government officers and leaders.
Like most large cities, Columbus has a liberal majority rather than leaning conservative. There are several aspects of city and community life that demonstrate this liberalism. A few of these are listed below.
Recent Voting Statistics
One of the easiest and most accurate ways to learn about the political climate of an area is to view the voting majority in recent elections. Looking at the statistics of recent and important elections helps to make the data more accurate. For example, more residents of large cities participate in presidential elections than those in smaller cities or even state voting opportunities. This means that using the most current presidential election will give you the most accurate information about the city’s political views.
In the 2020 presidential election, 64.7% of participating voters supported the elected Democratic party candidate. Only 33.4% of Columbus voters supported the Republican party candidate, and the remaining 1.9% of participants voted Independent.
The Democratic party took a strong lead with nearly twice as many votes as their Republican opponent! These statistics are only accounting for votes cast by Columbus, Ohio residents. This means that the city is strongly Democratic and supports liberal ideals much more than conservative ideals. The city of Columbus has voted for the Democrat candidate in every presidential election since the year 2000.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are known to have foundational religious beliefs. Areas that are highly religious are often more conservative in political views. Columbus seems to support this finding, as only 35% of the city’s population is recorded to be religiously affiliated.
Voting shows us what the beliefs of residents have been like over the years, and it shows us whether or not a population is on one side or the other of the political spectrum. If a city votes liberal and conservative in every other election, it would have a very split history, but in Columbus’ case, the city has a pattern of voting blue.
Andrew Ginther is the current mayor of Columbus, Ohio. Although most mayoral elections are non-partisan, Mayor Ginther is known as a Democrat, which supports the belief that Columbus is a liberal city. Mayor Ginther has held the office of mayor since 2016, so the residents of Columbus seem to like the liberal policies he has put in place during his time in office.
During the 2016 mayoral election, Ginther earned 59% of the vote, while his opponent Zach Scott earned 41% of the popular vote.
The political affiliations of the Columbus, Ohio city council are unclear, as all of them are technically non-partisan.
Financial Contributions made to Political Campaigns
Another excellent way to measure the amount of support a city gives to certain political views is to look at the financial contributions made to political campaigns within the area in recent years. Being a liberal city, Columbus shows greater support for the Democratic party and liberal campaigns than for opposing the Republican party and conservative campaign efforts.
Over the last 3 years, from 2018 to 2021, a total of $15,107,623 was donated to the Democratic party and liberal campaigns in Columbus, Ohio. This was gained from a total of 93,278 different contributions in this time frame, with an average of $162 given per contribution made.
The Republican party and conservative campaigns in Columbus made considerably less progress over the last 3 years of efforts. These campaigns only received 21,769 contributions and a total of $27,794,760. These campaigns averaged $1,277 per contribution made.
Democratic party and liberal campaigns in Columbus have received 71,509 more contributions than Republican party and conservative efforts in the city over the same 3-year time span. This is approximately 4.2 times the amount of contributions made! While the conservative and Republican party campaigns did receive more funds, the Democratic party and liberal campaign efforts clearly had a higher number of supporters based on the contributions received.
This means that while the Republican and conservative efforts have supporters that provide large donations, the strong majority of the city’s contributions and contributors went toward the Democratic party and liberal campaigns. The city has many liberal residents, and the financial contributions made to each major US political party reflect this very well.
Elected Government Officials
The current mayor of Columbus, Ohio is Mayor Andrew Ginther, a member of the Democratic political party. As previously stated, the Democratic party supports liberal ideals. In liberal cities, Democratic mayors are almost always in office. Mayor Ginther is known to support liberal ideals such as abortion rights and efforts to combat climate change. The majority of Columbus residents are liberal and elect government leaders who will support their liberal ideals.
Efforts to Limit Climate Change
Liberal views typically encourage efforts that will slow the impacts of climate change and improve the environmental status. Large cities commonly place what is known as climate action plans, which outline goals and plans to make the city more eco-friendly.
To show that Columbus is liberal rather than conservative, it is important to know what actions and efforts the city is making that are more liberal or conservative in nature. The majority of these liberal views mentioned are advocated and present within the city of Columbus, Ohio.
In 2021, Mayor Andrew Ginther released a Columbus Climate Action Plan! One of the largest goals placed within the announced plan is for the city to accomplish a state of carbon neutrality by the year 2050. To work toward accomplishing this, a smaller goal is placed for Columbus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% before 2030. The city will be spending a budget of approximately $10 million to increase efforts that expand energy efficiency, increase the use of electric vehicles, provide more eco-friendly job opportunities, and fund solar energy projects in 2022.
The Ohio Environmental Council has been highly involved in the creation of this plan and works to support its efforts as much as possible.
The residents and government officials and leaders of Columbus value efforts that combat climate change. This shows liberalism within the city.
In terms of abortion, liberals tend to encourage procedures to be both easily available and legal. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to work to limit access to abortion procedures and potentially ban them altogether.
The precedent that the 1973 Roe v Wade US Supreme Court case set made abortions legal in the US. However, on June 24, 2022, the ruling was overturned, making it so that each state has the power to legalize or criminalize abortions.
Pro-abortionist activists were outraged by the announcement, and riots and protests were held in cities all over the nation, including Columbus. On Sunday, June 26th, 2022, approximately 3,000 people attended a peaceful protest held outside of the Ohio Statehouse. These Columbus residents wore green to represent abortion rights and held signs and posters that promoted legal abortion procedures.
Other protests were held in the city throughout subsequent weeks and months. Local organizations like Pro-Choice Ohio and Planned Parenthood continue to organize pro-abortion activists within the city to protect abortion rights within the city and state as much as possible.
As of October 2022, abortion is legal in the state of Ohio until a woman is 22 weeks pregnant.
LGBTQ+ in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio is extremely accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, some people have found that Columbus is as accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community as people in California, a well-known liberal state, are.
In Ohio, same-sex marriage has been legal since June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court made it legal. Currently, members of the LGBTQ+ community are protected against discrimination in the workplace, and many cities have added other protections for members of the community. However, it is unclear whether or not Columbus has added protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, even though Ohio is considered a swing state, Columbus is a relatively liberal city. Most of the residents of Columbus have liberal beliefs, but there are also conservative-minded residents, so no matter what political party you tend to support, you will be able to find similar-minded people in Columbus, Ohio.