Texas is famous for its Republican majority and views, but not all parts of Texas represent this as well as others. Austin, for example, is a lone blue star in the vastly large and deeply red state of Texas.
Despite the state’s strongly Republican reputation, Austin, Texas is not a conservative city. Austin’s recent voting statistics, abortion views, elected government officials, financial contributions to Democratic and liberal campaigns, and support of LGBTQ+ individuals show strong liberalism.
Austin remains strongly liberal, even while surrounded by conservative cities and views. The city reflects liberalism in a variety of areas including the community, government officials, voting statistics, and more.
Conservative and Liberal Views
In terms of governmental powers, liberals prefer the government to be strong and highly involved in the lives of the people. Liberals encourage the government to use its power and authority to ensure that no citizens are left in a state of need. They generally support higher tax rates as well, especially for the rich to provide the government with the funds necessary to care for the poorer classes. The Democratic party supports liberal ideals, meaning that the amazingly strong Democratic majority in Austin shows that the city is liberal rather than conservative.
The Republican party supports conservative views, meaning that areas with a Republican majority in voting are more conservative. These conservatives advocate a government that provides citizens with the liberties and freedoms to attend to their own needs. Without an incredibly involved government to support, conservatives favor low tax rates that allow them with the means necessary to care for themselves.
Liberals that have religious views believe that religious and political beliefs should remain separate, and not impact one another. They support legal and easy access to physician-assisted suicides, same-sex marriage, embryotic research, and abortions. Conservatives, on the other hand, are known to have foundational religious values and beliefs that impact the formation of political views. They generally oppose all four of the liberal practices listed above.
Liberals also support a market economy system, eco-friendly efforts, combat against climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, legal abortions, high taxes, limited use of fossil fuels, increased use of renewable energy resources, and strict gun laws that keep firearms in the hands of law enforcement officers rather than citizen possession. Conservatives advocate a free market economy system, increased use of fossil fuels, low tax rates, limited government involvement, traditional family and religious values, low government debt and spending, and pro-life abortion efforts.
Austin supports nearly all of these liberal views. A few of the largest liberal beliefs shown in the city are explained below.
LGBTQ+ Community and Support
There is an old saying that Texas is home to both “Queers and steers”. Recent studies show this to be true, and Austin is a well-known community to welcome and receive LGBTQ+ individuals. One report, done by the LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission, estimates that around 100,000 to 118,000 of Austin consists of LGBTQ+ individuals, who make up the city’s highly active and involved pride community.
Another study, performed in 2021 by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, reports that the Austin Metro area is the third largest percentage of LGBTQ+ adults in relation to the overall population. Austin was only ranked behind San Francisco, California, and Portland, Oregon, two of the other most LGBTQ+ friendly communities in the nation.
Locals say that the entire city and area are gay-friendly! However, as with any other city, there are some areas that are more accepting and supportive than others. Located only a short distance from downtown is East Austin, which is widely known as one of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
Austin offers an incredibly large selection of activities, restaurants, events, and gatherings for LGBTQ+ individuals all throughout the city. The area is extremely gay-friendly and shows liberalism in being so. Liberals support legalized gay marriages, while conservatives generally oppose the practice. The city’s large gay community and gay-friendly environment, population, and businesses are one of many indications that Austin is a liberal city.
The recent voting statistics of Austin, Texas show that the city is far more liberal than conservative, despite being located in the Republican state of Texas. The Democratic majority shows this clearly.
In the most recent Presidential election of 2020, 71.4% of Travis County voted Democratic. Only 26.4% supported the Republican party candidate, and 2.2% voted Independent. In fact, the county has voted Democratic in the last five elections! The last time Austin voted Republican was a narrow victory in 2000.
Current and past voting statistics show that the Democratic party holds a strong majority in Austin. The city is highly liberal, though surrounded by conservative cities nearby. This is an incredibly high percentage of 71% to 26% majority, showing that well over half of the population leans liberal and votes Democratic.
Liberals encourage easily accessible and legally protected abortion rights for women. Conservatives oppose the practice of abortion and work to limit access to these procedures and, when possible, ban them completely.
The 1973 Roe v Wade trial declared that the legal right to an abortion procedure is protected within the United States Constitution. On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court announced that the Roe v. Wade trial is now overturned, meaning that each state is now responsible for setting its own laws about abortion. Many states have already banned or limited abortion significantly. Others, like Oregon and California, have protected the legal right to abortions within state laws and statutes.
On the very day of the US Supreme Court’s announcement, rallies and protests were held by liberals and abortion rights activists throughout the country. As a strongly liberal city, Austin was the location of these rallies as well. Hundreds of protestors gathered at the Federal Courthouse and marched to the State Capitol.
They wore green to support abortion and reproductive rights, held posters and signs, and yelled to show their disapproval of the Roe v. Wade trial announcement. Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas organized the gathering, and more than one thousand Austin residents participated in the march.
Austin citizens did not end their protests after this march alone, in fact, a benefit show protest was organized by Victoria Mycue, an Austin resident, for July 4th. Protestors traded the traditional patriotic red, white, and blue for green abortion rights clothing and signs. A “July 4th Abortion Benefits Show” was held to raise money for a Texas abortion aid network.
Thousands of Austin residents gathered on several occasions to continually express displeasure with the lack of protection for legal abortion rights within both the state of Texas and the entire United States of America. These people are showing incredible support for liberal ideals.
Austin, Texas is a liberal city, and the majority of residents are liberal in their voting tendencies and in the support they give to other political endeavors. The consistent and persistent efforts to fight for abortion rights is one of many examples of these liberal ideals being demonstrated within the city.
Financial Contributions to Political Campaigns
The financial contributions made to specific political party campaigns show that Austin, Texas is a liberal city. Democratic party and liberal campaigns received more funds and more contributions than opposing campaign efforts.
From 2018 to 2021, Democratic and liberal campaigns received $36,665,309 in Austin. There were 257,190 contributions made to these campaigns and an average of $143 per contribution made in the city during this period of time.
In the same four years, the Republican party and conservative campaigns received a total of 38.011 contributions. These campaign efforts received $19,275,331, averaging $507 per contribution made.
In total, the Democratic and liberal campaigns received $17,389,978 more and 219,179 more contributions than the opposing Republican party and conservative campaigns in the city. This incredibly large difference is excellent evidence that the city is liberal, and supports liberal ideals and political parties.
Conservative efforts received considerably less support in terms of finances and donations made. There are clearly more liberalism and liberal supporters in Austin than those who are more conservative.
Elected Government Officials
The current mayor of Austin, Texas is Mayor Steve Adler. He is a member of the Democratic party and supports liberal views and ideals on nearly all political issues and topics. The liberal residents of Austin elected a mayor that will prioritize their liberal views in the city’s laws and actions. Austin is a liberal city.