Is Arlington, Texas a Liberal City?

old wood signboard with text ” welcome to Arlington” hanging on a branch

Politics are the source of a lot of controversies these days, and many people want those around them to have the same political beliefs as they do. Are the residents of Arlington, Texas more likely to be liberal or conservative?

Arlington, TX is not a liberal city, but it is a conservative city. The majority of residents voted for the Republican candidates in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. Tarrant County, Arlington’s county, is also a fairly conservative area, and Texas is a moderately conservative state.

There are many factors to the political climate of a city. Looking at the results of presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies, and the demographics of Arlington can help us to know if it is a liberal city.

Presidential Elections

The results of presidential elections in a city are a big indicator of whether or not that city is liberal. The two major political parties in the United States are representative of the liberal and conservative perspectives. The Democratic party has mostly liberal members and supports liberal policies, so if the majority of residents in a city vote for the Democratic candidate, the city is mostly liberal. The Republican party has conservative members and supports conservative policies, so the city is mostly conservative if the majority of residents vote for the Republican candidate.

We don’t just need to look at who won in the state, but also how much they won by. In every election, a percentage of the votes are for the Democratic candidate, and another percentage of the votes are for the Republican candidate. The difference between these percentages is how much the winning candidate won by. If the difference is high, the city is solidly liberal or conservative, and it would be hard to make the residents vote in a different way. If the difference is low, the city is close to being evenly split, and enough residents could be convinced to vote for a certain candidate and shift the vote.

Texas is a moderately conservativeOpens in a new tab. state. The Republican candidate won in every election since 2000. The difference between the percentage of Republican and Democratic votes was higher than 10% in every election except in 2016 and 2020. The highest difference was 22.9% in 2004 and the lowest was 5.6% in 2020.

In the 2020 presidential election, 52.1% of Texas residents voted for the Republican candidate, while 46.5% voted for the Democratic candidate. The difference was 5.6%, which is the lowest it was during the 20-year period.

Tarrant County, the county in which Arlington is, is a fairly conservativeOpens in a new tab. area. The Republican candidate won in 5 of the 6 elections since 2000. The difference between the percentages was between 5% and 25% in every election except two: 2004 and 2020. In 2004, the difference was at the highest point at 25.38%. In 2020, it was at an all-time low of 0.04%.

In the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic candidate had 49.13% of the vote, while the Republican candidate earned 49.09%. The difference of 0.04% was the lowest it had been since 2000.

Arlington, like Tarrant County and the state of Texas, is mostly conservativeOpens in a new tab.. The majority of residents in the city voted for the Republican candidate in every election since 2000 except the 2020 election. The difference between the percentages was higher than 10% in every election except for the 2016 election and the 2020 election, when the differences were lower than 10%. The percentages and differences of the city are comparable to those of Tarrant County.

From 2018 to 2021, there were 21,731 contributions to the Democratic party in Arlington, totaling $1,263,736. There were 8,157 contributions to the Republican party, adding up to $3,034,785. Though there were over 3 times more contributions to the Democratic party, the Republican party made almost 3 times as much money. This is because donations to the Republican party were 6 times higher on average than those to the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

The local leaders of a city are representative of the political climate. The people elected the local leaders based on their beliefs and politics. The enacted policies, campaign platforms, and party affiliations of the local leaders of Arlington can give us an idea of the political climate.

Mayor

The mayor of Arlington is one of the most important elected officials in the city. The mayor represents the city in state, national, and international matters. The mayor also leads city council meetings and city ceremonies.

The current mayor of Arlington is Jim RossOpens in a new tab.. He was elected in 2021, and his current term will end in 2023. He won the general election with 47.4% of the votes and was elected in the runoff election with 58.4% of the votes, winning by 3,849 votes.

Mayor Ross has focused his time in office on increasing business in the city, promoting education and career improvement, improving traffic conditions, public health and safety, and reducing the tax burden. The focus on economic improvement, careers, and lowering taxes suggest a conservative perspective.

Mayoral elections in Arlington are nonpartisan, so Mayor Ross does not technically belong to a political party. However, he has been known to be affiliated with the Republican party. His party affiliations and the focuses that he has had in office suggest that he is of a largely conservative mindset, which is consistent with the city being mostly conservative.

City Council

The Arlington City CouncilOpens in a new tab. is a board of elected officials that serves as the legislative body of the city. The city council approves the budget, imposes taxes, and creates or changes laws of the city. There are 9 city council members including the mayor. The mayor is elected by the whole city, but the other 8 members are each elected by one of the city’s 8 districts.

The current city council has expressed that their focus is on improving neighborhoods, investing in the economy, enhancing transportation, supporting families, and increasing technology in government.

The city council elections are nonpartisan, but the focuses of the city council suggest that most of the city council members are conservative, which is also consistent with the city being mostly conservative.

Policies

The policies in place in a city are an indicator of the political climate. There are certain policies that are more likely to be supported or opposed by liberals or conservatives. Fewer abortion restrictions, more gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage are all more likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.

Abortions

Abortions in Texas must be performed before 6 weeks of pregnancyOpens in a new tab. unless the life of the patient is in danger. A patient must receive counseling and an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion can be performed. Private insurance policies, health plans, insurance policies for public employees, and public funding can’t cover abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. The parents of a minor must consent before an abortion can be provided to that minor, and there are many strict requirements for abortion clinics.

In 2017, there were 35 facilities providing abortions in Texas, 21 of which were clinics. This is a 25% decline from 2014. 96% of Texas counties do not have clinics, leaving 43% of Texas women without access to abortions.

Arlington residents tend to support a high level of abortion restrictions, which is consistent with a conservative perspective.

Gun Control Laws

Texas had the 26th highest gun death rate and the 13th lowest crime gun export rate in 2020. Texas gun laws includeOpens in a new tab. mental health reporting and child access prevention laws. Texas gun laws do not include universal background checks, gun owner licensing, domestic violence gun laws, assault weapons and large capacity magazine restrictions, waiting periods, and concealed and open carry restrictions.

Arlington residents support a low level of gun control laws, which is consistent with a conservative perspective.

Same-Sex Marriage

Texas legalized same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015Opens in a new tab., and it was one of the last states to do so. That was the day when the Supreme Court mandate required all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Arlington residents tended to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is consistent with a conservative perspective.

Demographics

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The populationOpens in a new tab. of Arlington is about 398,864 people. The population density is 4,163 people per square mile. 51.0% of the population of Arlington is female and 49.0% are male. The median age in Arlington is 32.3, and the average number of people per household is 2.8.

The racial makeupOpens in a new tab. of Arlington is as follows:

  • White: 40.1%
  • Black: 21.4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 28.9%
  • Asian: 6.8%
  • Native American: 0.3%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or More Races: 2.2%
  • Other: 0.2%

The average incomeOpens in a new tab. of an Arlington resident is $25,236 per year. The median household income is about $53,055 per year. the unemployment rate is 7.0%. The sales tax rate is 8.0%, and there is no income tax rate.

84.7%Opens in a new tab. of residents are high school graduates, and 24.5% are only high school graduates. 19.8% have two-year degrees, 29.4% have four-year degrees, 1.2% have master’s degrees, and 1.1% have professional degrees.

57.3%Opens in a new tab. of Arlington residents are religious. 54.3% are Christian, 0.2% are Jewish, 0.5% are of eastern faith, and 2.3% are affiliated with Islam.

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