Is Honolulu, Hawaii a Liberal City?

The Aloha state is known for its strong Democratic views, which is largely due to its state capital’s liberal influence. The city of Honolulu leans liberal in nearly every political policy and candidate.

Honolulu, Hawaii is a strong liberal city, as shown in its gun laws, voting trends, elected government officials, and other policies. The city accounts for 66% of the state’s entire population as well: making the city responsible for the state of Hawaii’s Democratic majority and policies as well.

As a Democratic city and state, Honolulu residents support an array of liberal views on nearly every subject. They elect Democratic officials and place additional policies over foundational liberal laws to protect them from being overturned.

Voting Trends

Honolulu, Hawaii is a strong liberal city in recent voting statistics. The city voted Democrat in the 2020 Presidential election with a strong majority. A strong 62.5% of voters in Honolulu County voted Democrat. Only 35.7% voted Republican, and 1.8% of voters supported Independent campaigns. So, there is a good mix of ideas in Hawaii, but the majority of voters are sided with the Democrat party.

Honolulu County not only supported the Democratic party and its candidate in the 2020 election, but they also did so with considerably more than half of the city’s votes. Democrats took the lead in Hawaii’s capital with a 62:35 lead in votes.

Financial Contributions to Political Campaigns

Not only do voting statistics show a Democratic majority in the city, but liberal campaigns also earned considerably more in financial donations than those of their conservative opponents.

From 2018 to 2021, the Democratic party and liberal campaigns received a grand total of $7,052,777 in financial contributions from 36,568 contributors at an average of $193 per donation. The Republican party and conservative campaigns received less than a fourth of their opponents’ total with only $1,231,790 in contributions over the same four-year span. They also received considerably fewer contributions in total with only 4,051 and an average of $304 per contribution.

A clear Democratic and liberal majority in the number of contributors and the total sum of received contributions shows that the city is largely liberal in its views and support.


Back in 1991, Hawaii Legislature prevented discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation in employment. In 2011, this was clarified to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The state passed the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act on December 2, 2013. Hawaii was the nation’s 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Chris Lee, State Representative at the time commented on the momentous occasion.

“In Hawaii, we are all minorities, and we all deserve the same aloha,”

Chris Lee, Hawaii State Representative 2013

There are a variety of events held in Honolulu to celebrate pride month and support the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the current events include Hilo Pride Luau, Hawai’i Island LGBTQ Pride, Cheers Queers Pride Drag Brunch, and the Community Pride Picnic. The city of Honolulu offers many activities and opportunities to be involved.

In 1996, a student established a yearly Day of Silence (DOS). Since 2001, this event has been utilized to support the LGBTQ+ community in Honolulu. It is an annual day of silent protest against bullying and discrimination against LGBTQ+ students and their supporters.

Honolulu’s continual support of the LGBTQ+ community shows the city’s strength and long tradition of liberal views. Residents continue to organize and hold events in their support year after year.

Elected Government Officials

In Hawaii’s governmental representation, the elected officials have an incredibly strong Democratic majority. The Hawaii State House of Representatives is an accurate depiction of the state’s Democratic majority. The House consists of 51 members, and 47 of them are associated with the Democratic Party. Only 4 of the 51 are Republicans. Not only do Democrats lead with a 47:4 majority, but they have decreased the amount of Republicans since the 2020 election when the state had a 45:6 ratio.

Hawaii also has something referred to as a Democratic trifecta. This means that the Democratic Party currently controls the office of the governor and both chambers of the State Legislature.

Since achieving statehood in 1959, the Democratic party has been in control of the state House. That is 63 years of Democratic victory in the state, a long rule, and no clear end in sight. Republicans have never held more than 20 seats in the chamber.

The majority in the State Senate is in an extremely similar situation. Of the 25 members, one is from the Republican party, and the remaining 24 are Democrats. Like the House of Representatives, Democrats have led the State Senate for the majority of years since Hawaii received statehood in 1959. They have held the majority consecutively since 1992 and increased their amount of members each year.

State Governor and Lieutenant Governor, David Y. Ige and Josh Green respectively, are also affiliated with the Democratic party.

With 66% of the state’s potential voters, Honolulu residents have an incredible capacity to impact the State’s representatives and decisions. Hawaii’s strong Democratic presence is a direct reflection of the city’s liberal political views.

Gun Laws

The state of Hawaii is ranked #2 among US states with the strongest gun laws. These strict laws make a large difference in the state’s gun safety. They have the lowest rate of gun deaths per year of the entire nation at only 55. Additionally, 61% of these gun deaths are suicides. One of the state’s laws requires gun purchasers to not only obtain a gun license but to complete a firearm safety course as well.

Along with 19 other states, Hawaii has recently enforced an “Extreme Risk Law” for gun safety. Also referred to as “Red Flag” laws, this allows law enforcement, family, and friends to petition the court for the temporary removal of a specific person’s ability to possess a gun when in a personal crisis. The purpose of this is to prevent persons in times of crisis from hurting themselves or others.

COVID-19 Response

Now, Being that it is 2022 no one wants to hear about COVID anymore, but it does have a great relation to the city’s political standing. Out of all the states in the United States, Hawaii had one of the most strict responses to the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic of 2020. Governor Ige enforced a mask mandate requiring all persons above the age of 5 to wear a mask or facial covering indoors and outdoors. Businesses had the right to refuse service to anyone unwilling to use a facial covering in compliance with this mandate.

Hawaii was also the last state to lift a statewide mask mandate for indoors. Governor Ige removed the indoor mandate on March 26, 2022, due to a continual decrease in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Now they were stricter because they had to be. They get a huge influx of visitors year-round, and because they are n an island, everyone is close to everyone. If you have ever been there, then you have seen how homes are built close together, and often times there are multigenerational families living in one small home. Viruses like COVID can spread very quickly here, so their restrictions were very necessary for everyone’s safety.

States and cities with Democratic and liberal majorities enforced COVID mandates and regulations more consistently and strictly than their conservative and Republican neighbors. Honolulu and Hawaii’s persistent efforts to place and enforce COVID-19 protection measures, such as mask mandates, is a sign of the city’s liberal majority.


Abortion is legal in Hawaii until the child’s date of viability. This means that abortions are legal until the child can physically survive outside of the mother’s womb. This usually occurs approximately 24 weeks, or five and a half months, into pregnancy.

More than 700 protestors gathered in Honolulu in May of 2022. The group rallied for the pro-choice platform, largely in response to the possibility of the Supreme Court’s overturning the Roe v Wade case decision. This allows each state to legalize, ban, or create restrictions on abortion individually.

This works out well since abortion is a very controversial topic, and most people are either for or against it. Now in Hawaii, if residents want to keep abortions or change what trimesters an abortion should be performed in, then they can. Over time they can decide if an abortion can be legal until birth, or if it should stay for 15 -24 weeks, and if the state becomes more conservative then they can decide to abolish it or instate the heartbeat law (no abortions once a heartbeat is detected).

The pro-choice platform is strongly supported by the Democratic party, as they have more liberal political views. The legalization efforts, supportive laws, and community support for legalizing abortions are due to Honolulu’s largely liberal population.

As you can tell, Hawaii has a longstanding history of being Left-leaning, and with these trends, legislations, and voting patterns above you can tell that Hawaii is going to vote this way for a long time. If Hawaii ever does change its politics, then it will surely be all over the news. Honolulu is a beautiful city and it is full of culture, community, and vibrant colors. It has a rich history and there are so many places to go and see. So whether or not you agree with their Democratic views, you can’t deny it’s a wonderful place to visit or live.

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