Is Chicago, Illinois a Conservative City?

Cityscape of Chicago in a summer day

If you are planning to move or visit Chicago, knowing whether it’s a conservative city or not will help you make your decision. If you consider yourself Republican, Democratic, or anything in between, this article is for you! Keep reading to find out more about Chicago’s politics.

Chicago, Illinois is not a conservative city and is actually extremely liberal. For example, the city of Chicago has voted Democratic in every Presidential election since 2000. There are some conservative citizens of Chicago, but the numbers are very small.

I lived in Chicago for 20 years, so I know the ins and outs of the politics of the city. If you want to know more about what makes Chicago so liberal, then you are going to have to keep reading!

Why is Chicago a Liberal City?

Chicago is very liberal, and it is defiantly one of those places that some people love, and others hate. Some people would love to live there, while others prefer to keep their distance and visit for some pizza. So why is Chicago so left-leaning?

Well, as stated above, Chicago has been voting for Democrats since 2000, which gives it a 22-year voting pattern that is pretty reliable to base future predictions on. Clearly, liberals love living there and with little to no conservatives voting against them, their left-wing policies get the green light majority of the time.

You can look into topics like gun control, abortion, marijuana, and more and find that their laws and policies are all Democratic. This is simply because of the mass amount of people who are democratic who live there. If you want to live in a place that has democratic views and laws in place, then this is the place for you.

But if you would rather move to a state or city that is more conservative, then you might want to move somewhere else. Your views don’t have to influence where you live, but typically conservatives do not like Chicago for being so far left with little to no middle ground laws to appease both sides. But, Chicago does not have to appease both political sides because they mainly only have one voice to listen to.

Liberal Laws in Chicago

There are laws and policies favored by conservatives, and others favored by liberals. So, regarding Chicago, what laws are in place that make this area liberal? How do they go about these laws that make them more liberal?

Let’s look into some topics like the legalization of marijuana and gun control to see what the city does for those, and it will help us see why the city is liberal and why their laws are strict in some places and loose in other areas.

Legalization of Marijuana

One law that could be seen as quite “liberal” is the legalization of marijuana in the state of Illinois. As stated in the Cannabis Information CenterOpens in a new tab., “As of January 1, 2020, recreational consumption, possession, and sales of cannabis products are legal in the State of Illinois.”

This law is one that those who are liberal would usually support and vote for. This law is just one of the many laws that help show just how liberal the city of Chicago is!

Gun Laws in Chicago

Another huge law that the State of Illinois is carrying out, is the law that you must have an Illinois permit if you want to carry a firearm in Illinois. Those who are conservative will typically want gun rights, and will usually want to be allowed to carry guns on them.

This law in the state of Illinois is one that does not follow what conservatives will usually want but instead follows liberal and Democratic views. Gun laws are a law that is very controversial right now in the world and is being fought for every day by both sides of the political standings. (SourceOpens in a new tab.)

This law that was passed in Illinois, is one that strongly helps to prove that Chicago, Illinois is a very liberal state. When I was in high school, we would have walkouts to protest gun laws and school shootings. Hundreds of high school students would leave class just to participate in such walkouts.

This was just in high school. Imagine all of the college-aged students and adults who believed similar things and participated in similar walkouts. I would always hear about protests and walkouts going on in the city, where thousands of people would go with signs to protest gun laws, and other laws that they did or did not support.

The city of Chicago is known for being liberal, and when certain laws are coming into play, Chicago’s liberal viewpoints will shine bright.

Pride Parade

Another huge example of how liberal Chicago is is the pride parade that they throw in the city every Summer in June. Every year, the city of Chicago has a pride parade through its streets. Thousands of LGBTQ+ and even those who are not in that community will walk the streets with bright rainbow colors, balloons, floats, etc.

The huge LGBTQ+ community in Chicago is represented very well in the Chicago pride parade. Those in the LGBTQ+ community will typically be liberal, and this gives a great example of just how liberal Chicago is. If Chicago was a mainly conservative city, they would most likely not be having a pride parade. (SourceOpens in a new tab.)

People will come from all over the world just to be in the pride parade. I’ve had tons of friends dress up and attend the beautiful parade. It’s a monumental day to remember, and everyone in the city looks forward to it every year.


You now may be wondering just how liberal the city of Chicago really is. As said earlier in the article, Cook CountyOpens in a new tab. (Chicago) has voted Democratic in every Presidential election since 2000. In Cook County, IL 74.2% of the citizens of the city voted Democratic, while 24.0% votes Republican. Then 1.8% voted independently.

Whenever I used to watch the voting of Presidential elections when I lived in Chicago, the voting always drastically leaned towards Democratic, or liberal, candidates. And really, the state of Illinois has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush won the state in 1988. That was years ago! This statistic is one that strongly leans toward the idea that Chicago, Illinois is very very Democratic and liberal.

These statistics are pretty high for Democratic numbers and prove just how strongly liberal, and not conservative, Chicago, Illinois is.

Chicago River with boats and traffic in Downtown Chicago

Living in a Liberal City as a Conservative

As someone who lived in Chicago for 20 years, as a conservative female, I can tell you just how it was to live in a liberal city. However, keep in mind that this is my experience, and the same might not happen to you.

I grew up in a home not too far from the city, in the suburbs of Illinois. I lived in a small town where the majority of the people who lived there were liberal. My teachers were liberal, my friends were liberal, and my neighbors were liberal. Of course, there was a very small percentage of other people who held similar beliefs as me, but it was rare to find.

As I grew up in the beautiful, liberal city of Chicago, as a conservative, I grew more than I thought I could. My mind began to open to the ideas and beliefs of the people around me, and I began to change and continue to open my mind. Yes, I would say I still have somewhat conservative beliefs, but my mind will always love and support those who don’t have the same beliefs. I will never want harm to come upon my friends and acquaintances who have different political viewpoints than me.

Another factor about living in a city that has significantly different political beliefs than me and my family is that I learned to stand up for what I believe in and to comfortably be who I am even through judgment. I was able to discuss my beliefs with my friends and those around me, and hopefully, open their minds to the beliefs in my heart.

Living in a city that doesn’t share your political beliefs can seem scary and daunting, but you should know that it really is not as bad as you think. If you choose to do so, you will grow and learn more than you thought you were capable of.

In the End

In the end, we now know just how liberal Chicago is. Its history, laws, events, and citizens, all prove just how liberal the city is. Again, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t people with conservative views in the city, because there are, and I was one of them. I’m just saying that the numbers are significantly lower for those with Republican and conservative views. If you are deciding to move out of or move into the city of Chicago, take all of this information and use it to help you make your decision!

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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