Is Fort Lauderdale, Florida a Liberal City?

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA skyline over Barrier Island.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a gem near the coast of southern Florida. It is home to many people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. For people outside of Fort Lauderdale, it is important to truly understand where the people stand politically, so is Fort Lauderdale mostly liberal or conservative?

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a strongly liberal city and has been for a long time. People in Fort Lauderdale have voted for Democratic candidates consistently for the last 20 years. Over 60% of the votes in most of the previous elections have been for the Democratic candidate.

There is a lot to do and learn in this city, so why not learn more about it and how it is run? For more information on the city’s political history, read below!

Political History of Fort Lauderdale

The political history of Fort Lauderdale is complex. Florida as a whole has a pretty strong divideOpens in a new tab. between the more conservative northern region and the more liberal central and southern regions.

This has led to conflict in the past that has been rather intense. As a whole, the entirety of Florida is a swing state. In the last 18 electionsOpens in a new tab., it has been a toss-up on whether Florida will lean towards democratic or republican views. Out of the last 18 presidential elections, Floria has voted for the Republican candidate 13 times and has voted for the Democrat candidate 5 times.

However, in the Gubernatorial election covering the same time period, Democrats won the majority vote 10 times, while Republicans won the majority of votes 8 times. This shows the wide discrepancy in the opinions of Florida residents. While Florida as a whole is a swing state, Fort Lauderdale tends to fall under the label of being a part of the more liberal central area.

When talking to a friend that has lived in Fort Lauderdale for a long time, she mentioned that some of the animosity comes from the older generation (both native Floridians and immigrants from Cuba) and their differing views on the presidency of JFK. She described an incident called the Bay of PigsOpens in a new tab. as being a defining factor that pushed Cuban immigrants to become more conservative.

Fort Lauderdale by night, aerial view.

Is Fort Lauderdale Becoming More Liberal?

This is a tricky question to answer simply because there are two different groups of people locally that are influencing the political atmosphere of Fort Lauderdale. Oftentimes, there is more to how the votes roll rather than just the campaigns of both political parties. The simple answer to whether Fort Lauderdale is becoming more liberal is yes. However, there is more to this than what meets the eye.

In recent years, especially during the 2020 presidential election, you can see that as a state, Flordia has been turning red more consistently, but there are pockets of blue in cities such as Fort Lauderdale. However, the state is turning less blue and more red.

I was talking to a friend of mine who lives near Fort Lauderdale about the political climate in the area. She mentioned that she felt it was more conservative than places like Miami and other regions in Southern Florida. When I brought up the political history of the area, she had some interesting insights. One of the insights she had is that there are two types of people that typically live in Southern Florida: the retiring snowbirds and the Floridian immigrants from South America and other countries.

Both of these groups of people have incredibly different life experiences and values. People from the older generations tend to vote more conservatively. The median age in Fort Lauderdale is around 41 years old, while the national average is around 38. Fort Lauderdale has enough older people to influence the political atmosphereOpens in a new tab.. However, as people get older, it becomes less likely that they will vote.

Sooner rather than later, the younger generation will begin to outnumber the older generation and the voting will begin to shift to match that demographic. Younger people are also becoming more educated than in times past, which generally leads to a more liberal outlook.

Another thing to consider is that the values of minorities typically tend to match that of the democratic party. For example, the democratic party tends toOpens in a new tab. push for more relaxed standards for immigration, and it wants to support immigrants as they become American citizens. It also pushes for equality more often than the republican party.

How Do People in Fort Lauderdale Treat People of Differing Political Views?

Cityscape of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida showing the beach and condominiums

One of the most important aspects of politics is how people interact with each other, especially those with differing political beliefs.

Events like the Bay of Pigs led to the older generation of immigrants becoming conservatively minded along with their native counterparts. Their children, on the other hand, are strongly liberal, and their grandchildren are starting to become more conservative. This generational divide has led to many differences in opinion. As a result, people in Florida (including Fort Lauderdale) should be fairly calm and civilized when they talk about controversial subjects.

With this deeper understanding of the historical and current influence of politics in Fort Lauderdale, it becomes easier to know and understand why Fort Lauderdale is more liberal than conservative. With the city and state having people of differing views, it must be common to know that you believe something, others believe something else, and you can always agree to disagree.

Political debates and conversations can get out of hand, and they can get heated fast. But, political conversations can also be great for those who can respectfully listen to others’ views. You can be open, listen, talk, and discuss politics without it getting out of hand, and in Fort Lauderdale, most people are respectful of other people’s opinions.

Political Stances

There are various topics that liberals and conservatives view and think about differently, and they can be very divisive topics. Knowing the political stances that Fort Lauderdale has on these topics helps us see how liberal and conservative the area is, and we can compare that to the rest of the state.

Crime Rate

Crime ratesOpens in a new tab. in Fort Lauderdale are average, meaning they are not bad but they are not amazing either. But, over the years, the crime rateOpens in a new tab. in the area has decreased. From 2014 to 2018, the crime rate decreased from about 680 to 550 per 100,000 population.

YearFort LauderdaleFloridaThe U.S.
Partial Chart from MacrotrendsOpens in a new tab. of Average Violent Crime Rate Per Year

From this chart, you can see that Florida as a state has gotten its crime rate to steadily decline in recent years, and this includes Fort Lauderdale. This city has had very high crime rates, almost double the state’s average. But, they have recently gone down, which is good both for visitors and residents. The US average, however, is increasing slightly.

Abortion Stance

With Fort Lauderdale being a more liberal city, it is no question about how they reacted to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. In this city, protestersOpens in a new tab. gathered and showed their support for abortions.

With most of the state being red, the more prominent stance on abortion is that it should be illegal, and Governor Ron DeSantisOpens in a new tab. is pushing for more restrictions and potentially banning it altogether. The governor has been in office since 2019, and he is running again in 2022 for the governor position. He is a Republican and is very open about his position on things such as abortion and the economy.

As of October 2022, abortion is illegal in Florida if you are more thanOpens in a new tab. 15 weeks and 6 days pregnant. This is a relatively late time, as most Republican states have made abortions illegal after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Gun Laws

Florida as a whole has very open gun lawsOpens in a new tab., which is a conservative view based on the fact that the constitution’s Second Amendment says that every citizen has the right to bear armsOpens in a new tab..

The loose gun laws reflect this right, and it is very different from the liberal view that there should be extremely strict gun laws in place. Fort Lauderdale can’t issue its own law against the law of the state, but the people there generally believe in stricter gun laws, and they purchase things based on their viewpoints, which means fewer people own guns in the area than in the rest of the state. But overall, the residents like the loose gun laws.

LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community has been very welcome in Fort Lauderdale. The city even earned perfect scores on the LGBTQ Municipal Equality IndexOpens in a new tab. in 2021. It is a travel destination for those in the LGBTQ+ community, and there are many pride celebrations held every year. Fort Lauderdale has even been nicknamed Florida’s gay capital. Clearly, Fort Lauderdale is very accepting of this community, which helps prove that this city is liberal.

Overall, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a very liberal city in a relatively conservative state.

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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