Is Boulder, Colorado a Liberal City?

Boulder, Colorado is well known for its prime location sitting at the foothills of the sweeping mountains. This city has spunky houses, unique stores, and earthy people that shape the community. However, it’s also recognized as a left-leaning city with a large number of democratic residents.

Boulder, Colorado is a strong liberal city. According to voting patterns, Colorado has voted democratic every year since 2000. These same patterns show that roughly three-quarters of Boulder’s population are democrats and it’s one of the most liberal cities in Colorado

Keep reading to know the who, what, when, why, and how Boulder is on the left.

How Liberal is Boulder, CO?

Boulder is considered “strongly liberal.” In the past presidential election, 77.2% of people in this city voted for the Democratic party, while only 20.6% voted Republican. Compared to the United States average that 51% of the population is liberal, Boulder’s is about 20% over that with 77% of the city being liberal.

Aside from the statistics, it will most likely be easy for you to tell that Boulder is Liberal if you are in the city. That tells you how liberal it is.

These statistics show the political state of the city, but it’s visible when spending time in Boulder as well. Throughout the city, you’ll find signs and decorations outside that might give you a hint. For example, along the well-known outside mall, Pearl Street Mall, the crosswalks are lined with rainbows, in support of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s very noticeable when walking around this city and even talking to the locals here.

Why is it so Liberal?

People in Boulder tend to have more liberal views and causes they support. This includes stances like pro-choice, pro-environment, and pro-gun control. Of course, everyone has their own individual views on certain things, even if it isn’t the common view of most people in your political party, but for the most part, people in Boulder are usually more progressive.

Residents are very pro-environment here and make an effort to recycle and treat the Earth kindly. Since Boulder is located right at the foothills of the Flatiron Mountains, they spend a lot of time in the mountains and outdoors, which is a reason why they feel so strongly about the environment.

For example, in the early 2000s, all the public schools in Boulder County became “green star schools.” This basically means that schools practice improving sustainability, encourage recycling and composting, provide healthier school lunches, and overall inform students about environmental concerns.

This city and county are known for having some “hippies,” and earth lovers. They value nature and you can find recycling and composting bins next to any trash can. The locals also tend to have more liberal stances on racial issues, sexuality, gender, and gun laws. For example, schools in the Boulder Valley School District have gender-neutral painted bathrooms, to escape certain gender roles, and make them accessible to students who identify as something other than the norm.

Another example is often on the first day of schoolOpens in a new tab., it’s not uncommon to have a teacher that has you say your pronouns during the first-day icebreaker. People are very open to LGBTQ+ members in the schools here, and they sometimes even teach about it.

Has Boulder Always Been Liberal?

Based on voting polls over the years, it’s always been fairly democratic, but it has increased since 20 years ago. The voting history shows that in the year 2000, 50.12% of people voted democratically. This means that the city has become a lot more liberal over time.

This might have to do with America, in general, becoming more liberal over the years. In the last 50 yearsOpens in a new tab., and especially since the 1990s, American citizens have adopted more liberal beliefs and attitudes. For example, people have become more liberal on racial issues, abortion, gun control, gender, sexuality, etc.

Colorado has been known as a swing state for the past 30 years and hasn’t always voted blue. Since 1876, Colorado has voted republican 22 times, Democratic 13 times, and once as a third party.

Since 1920, Colorado was known as a red state and would usually vote for a republican candidate. When Barack Obama ran for president for the first time, that was also the first time Colorado voted democrat since the election in 1964. This state is becoming a blue state because it voted democratic the past 5 elections in a row. It has also been growing fast and now has 50% more electoral votesOpens in a new tab. than it did in the 1960s.

Here is a time span displaying what percentage of the Boulder population voted in each political partyOpens in a new tab. for that election:

Year of Election:% Voted Democratic% Voted Republican % Voted Independent
200050.12 % 36.44 % 13.44 %
200466.28 %32.39 %1.32 %
200872.29 %26.14 %1.57 %
201269.69 %27.84 %2.47 %
201670.34 %22 %7.66 %
202077.19 %20.62 %2.19 %

Boulder’s Political Stance Compared to Other Cities in Colorado

Boulder is one of the bluest parts of Colorado. Along with Denver, these cities are always voting democrat. Areas in between Boulder and Denver like Thornton, Westminister, Brighton, and Federal Heights, for example, are about half and half democrats and republicans.

The areas surrounding BoulderOpens in a new tab. are quite liberal as well. This includes Longmont, Lafayette, Gunbarrel, Superior, Niwot, and more. To the west of Boulder are the mountains, but those mountain towns are also made up of liberal residents. Most of the small towns tucked into the Colorado mountains just west of Boulder vote democratic, like Keystone, Allenspark, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Lyons, Nederland, Lazy Acres, and more.

Denver is the biggest city in Colorado, which also makes it the most liberal part of Colorado. All the Denver city and metro areas are heavily democratic. Interestingly enough, right outside of Denver to the south and west, are fairly republican areas. In Lakewood, Colorado Springs, Monument, Highlands, Castle Rock, and Parker, people vote republican and have more conservative views.

Colorado has a wide range of left to right-leaning people, and often these areas are right next to each other. Denver, a very liberal city is touching areas that are filled with more conservatives than democrats. The state is pretty mixed, but you’re more likely to find liberal people in the heavily populated cities/areas, and in the mountains near Boulder. Although that’s typically the case across the country, cities and areas with higher populations are more left-leaning, and smaller towns can be more right-leaning.

Here are different parts of ColoradoOpens in a new tab. that are within an hour and a half away from each other and what their political differences are:

North Boulder, CO:

This is the percent chance likelihood you will meet someone who is…

  • Religious: 26.2%
  • Pro-environment: 51.6%
  • Pro-gun control: 72%
  • Pro-tax: 60.3%
  • Pro-choice: 78.4%
  • Democratic: 76.4%

Denver, CO:

This is the percent chance likelihood you will meet someone who is…

  • Religious: 28.2%
  • Pro-environment: 48.9%
  • Pro-gun control: 68.2%
  • Pro-tax: 60.4%
  • Pro-choice: 75.1%
  • Democratic: 73.8%

Colorado Springs, CO:

This is the percent chance likelihood you will meet someone who is…

  • Religious: 44.6%
  • Pro-environment: 25.7%
  • Pro-gun control: 39.9%
  • Pro-tax: 42.9%
  • Pro-choice: 56.9%
  • Democratic: 31.3%

Monument, CO:

This is the percent chance likelihood you will meet someone who is…

  • Religious: 43%
  • Pro-environment: 24.1%
  • Pro-gun control: 38.5%
  • Pro-tax: 39.7%
  • Pro-choice: 57.9%
  • Democratic: 26.2%

Here is a graph displaying the slight voting changes in the state of Colorado over the past elections:

Election Year:% of Democratic Votes:% of Republican Votes:
(SOpens in a new tab.ourceOpens in a new tab.)

As you can see, ColoradoOpens in a new tab. has been steadily growing in Democratic voters over Republicans. While there are still areas with very different political standpoints scattered across the state, the amount of people who are leaning to the left is increasing.

Are Colorado Senators Democrats?

Right now, Colorado’s current senators are both democrats. There’s Michael BennettOpens in a new tab., that’s been serving since 2009, and John Hickenlooper, who has been serving since 2021. Here are some Priorities of Michael Bennett as a senator.

  • He stands for a strategy to transition Colorado into cleaner sources of energy. He wants to modernize our energy system, transition to low-cost sources of energy, increase energy independence, and provide affordable and reliable energy for all Americans.
  • Michael Bennett also believes that climate change is very serious, and he has goals to reduce carbon pollution. Something highly valued by the senator and the residents is the wild places and wildlife habitats. He cares about the environment and hopes to keep it protected.
  • This senator is also an advocate for equal rights for all people. He wants every American to be treated fairly and is working on policies in congress to protect voting rights, improve the justice system, and end the gun violence epidemic.

These sort of views and beliefs Michael has are more democratic and fit into the mostly blue state of Colorado. He represents a lot of Colorado’s resident’s passions for the Earth, equality, and justice, gun violence, and more.

Recent Posts