Is Herriman, UT a Liberal City?

Democrat Donkey and Republican Elephant

While looking for a place to move to, it is difficult to know what place you will be able to enjoy. One of the easiest ways to do this is to find a place where there are people that are similar to you. One group that is important to a lot of people is people that think the same as them politically.

Herriman, Utah is not a liberal city. While it is less conservative than many other parts of the state, it cannot be considered liberal like Salt Lake City. Based on the population’s makeup, their voting history, and how they approach key issues we can see that Herriman is a conservative city.

While Herriman is a conservative city, it does share some traits with the largest liberal city in the state, Salt Lake. By looking at these similarities and differences we can better understand more about Herriman as a city. Keep reading to find out more!

What is a Liberal City?

Finding out when a city is liberal can be tricky. It isn’t something that is going to be listed on any website or listed as part of a home’s address. It won’t be found on a tee shirt or listed as part of the sign at the edge of town, Welcome to X, the biggest liberal city on this side of the continental divide. Instead, you’ll need to look at the patterns and behavior of a town’s citizens in order to puzzle out whether a city is liberal or not.

One of the first things that people assume when they are trying to figure out if a city is liberal or not is whether there are more democrats or republicans. While this is an easy way to divide people into two groups, it might not provide the best look at whether an area is liberal or not. While the democratic party tends to be the more liberal party, not every member of the democratic party considers themselves to be a liberal.

In research done by the pew research center, they begin to explain the differences between liberals and Democrats. According to the research, “About half of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters (47%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 15% who describe their views as very liberal.” In other words, out of all the people that would identify themselves as a Democrat only one in two of them would consider themselves to be liberal. One way that this is accurate is that liberals are the single largest group within the democratic party. According to Pew:

Liberals outnumber moderates (38%) and conservatives (14%) as a share of Democratic voters.

Pew Research Center

Another important thing to look at is how a particular area moves towards popular liberal goals. These include ideas like reducing medical costs, improving the educational system, protecting the environment, and making Medicare financially sound. Each of these ideas has an effect that we can observe through other statistics and information. By looking at how strongly Herriman pursues these main goals of liberals, we can determine if it is a liberal city or not.

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Why is Herriman Like a Liberal City

One of the first ways we can see if Herriman is a liberal city is to see how they have voted in the past. When people feel strongly about something they will either vote for or against that thing. By looking at how people vote we can begin to determine how strongly they feel about different issues.

The first thing we will look at is how Herriman voted in the 2020 Presidential election. Herriman and the neighboring cities, all suburbs of Salt Lake voted for the democratic nominee Joe Biden. They did this by a decent margin with Biden earning 53.6% of the vote and Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, only earning 42.5% of the vote. This is different from the majority of the state of Utah which overall had 58.2% vote for Trump and only 37.7% vote for Biden. From these results, it appears that Herriman and the nearby area are more liberal than the rest of Utah. Now we can’t just look at election results.

Another thing that we need to look at is the policies and the results that Herriman is implementing as a city. One of the core policies of a liberal area is improving the educational system. By looking at how residents view primary and secondary education in Herriman we can get a snapshot of where the city is at for this liberal goal. It appears that residents have a high opinion of their local schools. According to one report, both of the middle schools earned an 8 out of 10 and all the elementary schools earned a 7 out of 10.

Based on these numbers it may be safe to assume that Herriman does value education highly. However, when we look at the ratings the local high school is only rated as average (5 out of 10). This matches with my experience growing up as a student in Herriman. While the schools when I was younger did a great job engaging with students and helping us to learn, this began to fade away as we got older.

At the High School in particular there were too many students to handle effectively which left many students slipping through the cracks. It was difficult to get one-on-one help from teachers and often felt like you were just one person in a crowd. Classes moved from ensuring that students understood concepts, to a social experiment on how many desks and bodies you could squeeze into one room. From my experience, I would say that while Herrman residents value education like many liberals, they aren’t willing to put consistent support behind it (more of a conservative approach).

Why is Herriman like a Conservative City

While Herriman does have some liberal traits, I believe we can also discover some conservative aspects about it. To do this, we’ll look at another election held here. This election was for the county mayor. Salt Lake County includes Herriman and the surrounding cities all the way up to Salt Lake City. In this election, there were two candidates running, a Democrat and a Republican. The result of the election was the democratic candidate winning with 51% and the republican only with 41% of the vote. If we were to just look at these numbers we might assume that Herriman was a liberal city.

However, this map helps to better understand the makeup of Herriman politically. Looking at this map we can see a division running down the middle of the map. In Salt Lake City in the top right corner, we see that they voted strongly for the democratic candidate. As we move down and to the left, this support starts to wane until we reach the bottom left corner where Herriman is. Looking at this corner is strongly colored red, signifying strong support for the Republican candidate. From this election, we can observe that the further away from Salt Lake City that you get the less liberal the areas become.

In my experience, this is something that tends to annoy a lot of people that live in Herriman. Salt Lake tends to be very liberal while its southern suburbs tend to be less liberal. Normally this difference in opinion doesn’t cause any issues, each city is able to choose the ideas and policies that they want.

What becomes an issue is when anything needs to be decided at a county level. Salt Lake will vote for liberal ideas and because they have more people than live in Herriman, their ideas almost always get put in place. This leaves many people in Herriman feeling like their voice doesn’t matter, and that people who are living in another city get to dictate how they live their lives. Examples of these issues are a higher tax rate than the national average, or people in Salt Lake approving new neighborhoods to be built in Herriman over the resident’s objections.

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Overall Herriman is a difficult city to pin down. It seems to be more liberal than the rest of Utah. Based on past elections they vote differently than other Utah cities, that is they vote more liberally. They put a focus on education having high-ranking schools and placing a higher tax rate on themselves, both liberal ideas. Herriman tends to be less religious than other areas in Utah, with more people putting emphasis on professional work.

On the other hand, it has strong conservative ideas as well. On the county level, Herriman will vote against most liberal ideas proposed and many residents of Herriman are displeased with many things that they feel are imposed on them by other cities. From my experience and the data here I would say that Herriman is a conservative city. While not a strongly conservative area, it still avoids too many liberal goals to be considered a liberal city. It could best be classified as a city that leans conservative.

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