Politics has become very important in today’s society, and many people want to know that their neighbors share their political beliefs. Are the people of Little Rock, Arkansas more likely to have a liberal or conservative point of view?
Little Rock, Arkansas is a moderately liberal city. The city has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election from 2000 to 2020. In contrast, Arkansas is a strongly conservative state, as the Republican candidate tends to win in presidential elections by a wide margin.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when deciding whether a city is primarily liberal or conservative: the results of presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies that have been enacted, and the demographics. Looking at all of these aspects of politics can help us decide the true political leanings of Little Rock, Arkansas.
The result of presidential elections in a city can be a big indicator of whether or not the city is liberal. The two political parties in the United States, the Democratic party and the Republican party, are representative of the liberal and conservative perspectives.
The state of Arkansas is strongly conservative. Not only did Arkansas vote for the Republican candidate in every election from 2000 to 2020, but the difference between the percentages of Republican and Democratic voters was also very high.
Though the difference started out small in 2000, it has steadily increased over the twenty-year period. In 2000, the difference between the percentages of Republican and Democratic voters was 5.4%. However, by 2020, the difference was 27.6%.
In the 2020 presidential election, the percentage of Republican voters in Arkansas was 62.4%, and the percentage of Democratic voters was 34.8%. The percentage of Republican voters was at an all-time high and the difference between the two was also higher than ever.
Pulaski county, which is the county that Little Rock is part of, is moderately liberal. The county has voted for the Democratic candidate in every election from 2000 to 2020. The differences between the percentages of Democratic and Republican voters were over 10% in every election during that time except in 2000, when it was 0.21%. The difference grew steadily larger over the two decades.
In the 2020 presidential election, the percentage of Democratic voters in the county was 59.98% and the percentage of Republican voters was 37.47%. The difference between the percentages was 22.51%, which was the highest the difference had been between 2000 and 2020.
Little Rock, AR is a moderately liberal city, contrasting with the state of Arkansas and similar to Pulaski county. In the six elections between 2000 and 2020, Little Rock voted for the Democratic candidate in every single one. All of the differences between the percentages of Democratic and Republican voters were over 10% except in 2000.
Between 2018 and 2021, there were 18,577 contributions to the Democratic party, adding up to $4,392,718. There were only 6,252 contributions to the Republican party, which totaled $21,595,981. The amount of money contributed to the Republican party was higher than that contributed to the Democratic party; the donations to the Republican party were, on average, 14 times higher than those to the Democratic party.
The local leaders of a city are a big factor in determining whether the city is liberal. After all, these are more examples of elected officials that the people chose. Whether it is the political party that the local leaders align with, the campaign platform they ran on, or the policies they enacted, the local leaders can often represent the political leanings of a city.
The mayor of Little Rock prepares the city budget, signs legislation into law, nominates or removes the city manager and attorney, and fills vacancies in boards, authorities, or commissions. The mayor also has veto powers.
The mayor of Little Rock is currently Frank Scott Jr. He was elected for his first term in 2018 and will serve until the end of 2022. He won the general runoff election with 58.1% of the vote.
Mayor Scott has taken on many initiatives during his time in office. One of these is the Scott Script, which is a plan of action designed to unify the Little Rock government. He also supported Little Rock Community Schools, which is dedicated to improving education in low-income areas.
He also started the Mayor’s Youth Council, which tries to get high school students involved in the community. Mayor Scott seems to have a particular interest in education and youth.
The mayoral elections in Little Rock are nonpartisan, but Mayor Scott has been known to be affiliated with the Democratic party. His focus on education also supports this idea.
Board of Directors
The Little Rock Board of Directors is in charge of adopting and balancing the city budget, approving appointees to the mayor, imposing taxes, and creating or changing policies, laws, and ordinances.
There are ten members of the Board of Directors. Seven of these are elected by the seven wards in Little Rock, while the other three are elected by the whole city. There are five men on the Board of Directors and five women. Three of the men were elected by wards and two were elected by the whole city. Four of the women were elected by wards and one was elected by the whole city.
The policies that are in place in an area can give us a good idea of whether that place is liberal or conservative. Policies such as legal abortion, higher gun control, and gay marriage are supported by liberals, while conservatives tend to oppose them.
Abortions in Arkansas can only be performed before 20 weeks except when there is life endangerment, incest, or rape involved. Before receiving an abortion, the patient must receive an ultrasound and in-person counseling.
Health plans and public funding cannot cover abortion except in cases of life endangerment, incest, or rape. Parents of minors must sign off on abortion, and abortion clinics have to meet rigorous standards before being able to operate.
There were 4 facilities in Arkansas in 2017 that provided abortions, and three of them were clinics. 97% of Arkansas counties had no abortion clinic, leaving 77% of women with no access to a clinic.
Arkansas had the 8th highest gun death rate in 2020 and the 14th highest gun trafficking rate. Arkansas gun laws include partial mental health recording reporting. The gun laws do not have universal background checks, gun owner licensing, assault weapons restrictions, a large capacity magazine ban, waiting periods, concealed carry or open carry regulations, or child access prevention laws.
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Arkansas on June 26, 2015. That was when the Supreme Court mandate required all states to legalize gay marriage, so Arkansas was one of the last states to legalize gay marriage.
The population of Little Rock is about 197,866 people. The population density is 1,660 people per square mile. 51.9% of the population are women and 48.1% are men. The median age in Little Rock is 35.3 and the average number of people per household is 2.5.
The racial demographic of Little Rock is as follows:
- White: 46.2%
- Black: 41.4%
- Hispanic/Latino: 6.8%
- Asian: 3.0%
- Native American: 0.2%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
- Two or More Races: 2.0%
- Other: 0.3%
43.4% of Little Rock residents are married and 13.5% are divorced. 25.7% of residents are married with children and 22.3% are single with children.
The average income in Little Rock is $29,583 per year and the average household income is $46,409 per year. The unemployment rate is 5.9%. The sales tax rate is 8.6% and the income tax rate is 6.9%.
91.3% of Little Rock residents are high school graduates, and 22.8% are only high school graduates. 24% have two-year degrees, 40.3% have four-year degrees, 3.8% have master’s degrees, and 2.7% have professional degrees.
59.0% of Arkansas residents are religious. 57.8% are Christian, 0.3% are Jewish, 0.7% follow an eastern faith, and 0.2% affiliate with Islam.
The rate of violent crime in Little Rock on a scale of 1 to 100 is 72.1. The rate of property crime on that same scale is 95.0. Both are significantly higher than the national averages (22.7 for violent crime and 35.4 for property crime).
Political History of Little Rock
Arkansas became a state in June of 1836 as the 25th state. The state voted mostly Democratic until 1968. The state voted Republican in 1868. Arkansas seceded during the Civil War, so it did not participate in the 1864 election.
In 1872, there were irregularities in the voting, so the electoral vote was rejected. In 1968, the state voted for an independent candidate. Afterward, the state voted largely Republican aside from the 1976, 1992, and 1996 elections.
Overall, the city of Little Rock, Arkansas is moderately liberal, but there are many conservative and independent people that live there. No matter what political party you affiliate with, you will be able to find people that have the same opinions as you.