Is Fresno, California a Liberal City?

When people move to a city, they want to know that they will fit in, especially when it comes to political views. So, is Fresno, California a liberal city?

Fresno, California is a city where the majority of people vote liberal. This conclusion was drawn by gathering and analyzing the city’s voting history, size, location, population, economy, and diversity. Voting history was the biggest indicator of Fresno’s political stance.

There are many ways to find out what a city’s political stance is. Voting history will provide the most direct answer, but other aspects will provide insight as to why the voting statistics reflect what they do.

Voting History

In the 2020 presidential election, 52.9% of residents voted Democratic with 45.1% voting Republican. For the past 4 presidential elections, FresnoOpens in a new tab. has voted primarily Democratic. This city has not had the majority vote for the Republican Party since the 2000 and 2004 elections.

This statistic is easy to glance over but when it is broken down it’s actually very insightful. The city of Fresno has not switched its primary vote in over 16 years. There have now been 4 consecutive elections in which this city has leaned towards one party (Democratic).

This shows that Fresno is very set in its views and this support for one party is not majorly based on the candidate, as evidenced by the 4 consecutive elections’ statistics. Although it might not seem like it, this history provides a lot of insight into Fresno’s current and future political stance.

In the 2012 presidential election, Fresno’s voting statistics were 49.72% Democratic and 47.94% Republican, this is such a close variance with only a 1.78% difference. In 2016, Fresno voted 49.4% liberal and 45.5% conservative, this makes a 3.9% difference. Then if you look at the data for the 2020 election, there is a 7.8% variance between the Republican and Democratic votes. From this history of voting statistics, it can be concluded that Fresno is becoming increasingly LiberalOpens in a new tab. in its voting.

A 7.8% difference doesn’t seem large on its own, but when you realize that it started as only a 1.8% variance, it is a huge difference. Over the course of roughly 8 years and 3 elections, Fresno’s liberal stance has grown by approximately 6%. From the data, it seems that it will continue to increase with time.


Larger cities having a tendency to lean Liberal is backed up by research and scientific studies. U.C. BerkeleyOpens in a new tab. has a team of highly educated administrators that are a part of a research team focusing on how liberal practices and concepts adapt to increasingly diverse populations. This just goes to show that it isn’t surprising that Fresno is liberal.


Because Fresno has a high poverty rate, it falls into this category of people who are more likely to vote Liberal. Because Fresno is a liberal city within a liberal state, there are a lot of policies in place that are favored by Democrats there. Because of those, you will see the economy being affected.

Typically, a difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats instate higher taxes and they think the government should be taking care of them, so the higher taxes help pay for that help. Republicans think people need government support, but it shouldn’t overstep into people’s lives, so they prefer low taxes to allow the citizens to keep more of their earnings. So, with this city and state being liberal, what can you expect to see with the taxes, the housing, and over rates of spending?


In Fresno, the sale and use tax rates are 8.350%Opens in a new tab. and that is a lot. It included a general total for city, county, and state taxes you can expect, but that is almost like giving 10% of your earnings away each paycheck. Imagine if you make 6,000 a month. That is almost $600 in taxes a month, which is equivalent to some people’s rent, or most of the rent. That is a lot to give away, and it is not easy.


Housing here is expensive, and though you aren’t next to the ocean, you do have higher prices compared to other states. But, the prices are not as high as the cities located by the beach. A homeOpens in a new tab. that is about $450,000 in Fresno would be $8-900,000 or more in other parts of California. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.

You can get a lovely home for the pieces offered, but you don’t get much land and you are feet away from your neighbor’s house. So, housing-wise it is a better location for buying a home in California, but it is not the best place if you are looking for the most for your buck.


Choosing to live somewhere based on the diversity of the area shouldn’t be the deciding factor, but it is important for some people to know that their community is diverse. Not every area in America will have multiple cultures, religions, races, and more. But, having a little variety of each is important to help you find people who believe in the same morals as you.

Fresno is diverse in every way that you can think of, so tolerance and support for different views and types of people is plentiful, and this greatly increases the chances that it would be Liberal. Issues on this topic are becoming increasingly black and white as opposed to having neutral/compromising areas.

When an ethnically and politically diverse city like Fresno is faced with this dilemma, they will almost always swing Liberal to protect and keep harmony with the people around them. This issue of no longer having a socially accepted gray area is shown through the statistic that Fresno only had 2% of voters claim to be independent as opposed to 45.1% and 52.9% for the other parties.

So here you will have a good mix of ideas that help make it diverse. No one can grow if everyone agrees all of the time, so having opposing opinions can help us to think more deeply about different subjects and come together for more solutions.


The population of a city will directly impact the politics because it is the citizens who vote and create change in their community. So, looking at the population and seeing why the voters lean left, why they lean right, and why the city as a whole has a more liberal voting pattern.

Fresno is a city that has a few colleges, and hundreds of other schools. It has been scientifically proven that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to vote liberally. This applies to Fresno just as much as any other city. Having a state university as well as a few community colleges attracts young people looking for an education.

Both education and age have been found to be positively correlated with voting liberally. Considering that Fresno is a place with many educational opportunities and young people, it makes sense that they are increasingly becoming liberal.

In Fresno, there are a lot of higher education opportunities. There is a Cal State in Fresno, as well as community college opportunities as well as schools with medical programs. California schools like Berkley, Stanford, and more are all well known and highly applied to each year from all across the country.

So, going to Fresno for school can be great, and if you are from California then you are able to get in-state tuition which is great. But at these schools, you can take many political classes for electives, join clubs and groups where you can debate your ideas, and more. Many students are more liberal-leaning, but with the cluster of various ideas, you can definitely learn a lot from your peers.

Surrounding Cities

Clovis is a smaller, country city that is very closely intertwined with Fresno. They are neighboring cities that share a very confusing border so it is common for people to call Clovis, Fresno. However, as far as politics goes, there is a stark difference between the two.

Although no data could be found on Clovis’ voting statistics, living there for my entire adolescence helped me gain a lot of insight into their views and stance. Imagine that you cross the border of a city and almost immediately everything looks different. Clovis is a city that you enter and you are immediately aware of its politics, while Fresno would take you a while to figure out because it is so big.

I can distinctly recall a house by the high school that has Christmas lights on all year long. These lights spell out the name of a Republican president in a past election. This same house has poster boards surrounding the fence and house that have written messages hoping for the downfall of certain political leaders and the rise of others. Fresno is so diverse that you could probably find almost any perspective you want in that city, but Clovis is a rich, small, country town, so its political stance heavily reflects the population.

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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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