Politics are very important these days, and they absolutely dominate the media. However, they are also a source of conflict, and many people want to know that their neighbors have similar political beliefs to them. Are residents of Mesa, Arizona more likely to be liberal or conservative?
Mesa, Arizona is not a liberal city. Instead, it is relatively conservative. The city voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 2000 except one. Maricopa County and Arizona are also relatively conservative, with similar presidential election results to those of Mesa.
There are many factors to the political climate of a city. When deciding whether Mesa is a liberal or conservative city, we must consider the results of presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies that are supported, and the demographics.
Presidential election results aren’t just about who wins the election in the city, but also how much they win by. If there is a large difference between the percentage of votes that were Democratic and those that were Republican, the city is pretty solidly liberal or conservative. If the differences between the percentages are low, that means that the city is closer to being split evenly between liberal and conservative.
Arizona is relatively conservative. Since 2000, there have been six presidential elections. Arizona voted for the Republican candidate in five of them but voted Democratic in 2020. The highest difference between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes during that time was 10.5% in 2004, and the lowest difference was 0.3% in 2020.
In the 2020 presidential election, 49.4% of the population of Arizona voted for the Democratic candidate, and 49.1% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages, 0.3%, was extremely low compared to the other elections, as the second lowest percentage before that was 3.6% in 2016.
Maricopa County, the county that Mesa is in, is also relatively conservative. Like the rest of Arizona, the county voted for the Democratic candidate in 2020 but voted for the Republican candidate every other year since 2000. The differences between the percentages decreased drastically in 2016 from over 10% to barely more than 2%. The highest difference was 14.64% in 2004, and the lowest was 2.17% in 2020.
In the 2020 presidential election, 50.13% of Maricopa County residents voted for the Democratic candidate, and 47.96% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages, 2.17%, was the lowest it had been since 2000.
Mesa’s election results and political leanings are similar to those of Maricopa County and the rest of the state of Arizona. Mesa is relatively conservative. The city voted for the Republican candidate with a difference between percentages of more than 10% from 2000 to 2012. In 2016, the Republican candidate was also the winner in the city, but it was by less than 10%. In 2020, the Democratic candidate won in Mesa, also by a difference of less than 10%. The percentages are comparable to those of the county and state.
From 2018 to 2021, there were 30,497 contributions to the Democratic party in Mesa. This added up to $2,029,003. In contrast, there were 9,935 contributions to the Republican party, which added up to $2,364,916. Despite the fact that there were over three times as many contributions to the Democratic party, the Republican party received more money during the time period, as the donations to the Republican party were 3.5 times larger on average than those to the Democratic party.
Mesa, Maricopa County, and Arizona were all solidly conservative, but that became less of the case starting in 2016, when the differences between the percentages decreased, and continued to change in 2020 when the Democratic candidate won in all three areas. The three areas may have been deemed very conservative a few years ago, but now they are less so and are becoming more liberal. The city is not considered liberal yet, but that may change in the next few years.
The local leaders in a city represent the political beliefs of the rest of the city. They were elected because the majority of people liked their beliefs and promises. Looking at the campaign platforms, political affiliations, and enacted policies of the local leaders of Mesa can help us decide if the city is liberal or conservative.
The mayor of Mesa, Arizona is responsible for leading city council meetings and official city ceremonies. The mayor represents the city in matters that are state, national, or international.
The current mayor of Mesa is John Giles. He assumed office mid-term in 2014. He was reelected in 2016 and 2020. His current term will end in 2024, but he might run for reelection. He was elected in 2014 with 72.7%. In 2016, he ran unopposed, and in 2020, he won with 66.5% of the vote. He had a significant amount of support, so people clearly liked his ideas and what he achieved while in office.
Mayor Giles focused his time in office on emergency response, equality, education, environment, and economic growth, calling these the 5Es. He has seen economic growth and partnerships with large companies. His top priorities are education and building the workforce.
The elections for mayor in Mesa are nonpartisan, so Mayor Giles is technically nonpartisan. However, he has been known to be affiliated with the Republican party rather than the Democratic party. The policies that he supports and the things he has done in office imply that he has a conservative perspective.
The Mesa City Council is responsible for approving the city budget, imposing taxes, and creating or changing laws. There are seven members of the City Council, including the mayor. The mayor is elected by the whole city, but the rest of the members of the City Council are each elected by one of the city’s districts. City Council elections are nonpartisan, but the achievements of the City Council suggest that the majority of members are conservative rather than liberal.
The policies that the people in a city tend to support are another indicator of the political climate. Some policies are more likely to be supported or opposed by liberals or conservatives. Fewer abortion restrictions, more gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage are among the policies that liberals tend to support and conservatives tend to oppose.
Abortions in Arizona are legal before 20 weeks of gestation. At least 24 hours before receiving an abortion, the patient must receive counseling and an ultrasound. Health plans, insurance policies for public employees, and Medicaid do not cover abortions. The parents of minors must consent before that minor can receive an abortion, and clinics must meet very strict standards.
As of 2017, there were 11 facilities in Arizona that provide abortions, 8 of which were clinics. 80% of counties did not have a clinic, leaving 18% of women without access to a clinic.
Mesa residents tend to support an increase in abortion laws, making it harder for women to get access to abortions. This is consistent with a conservative perspective.
Gun Control Laws
Arizona had the 20th highest gun death rate and the 5th highest crime gun export rate in 2020. Arizona gun laws include not allowing firearms at polling places and mental health record reporting. Arizona gun laws don’t include universal background checks, licensing, domestic violence laws, assault weapons or large capacity magazine bans, waiting periods, concealed and open carry regulations, and child access prevention laws.
Mesa residents tend to support the gun laws that are in place, allowing easier access to firearms. This is consistent with a conservative perspective.
Arizona legalized same-sex marriage on October 17, 2014. This was about eight months before the Supreme Court mandate required all states to do so. Arizona was the 30th state to legalize same-sex marriage, tied with Alaska. Mesa residents tended to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The population of Mesa, Arizona is about 528,159 people, and the population density is about 3,827 people per square mile. 50.6% of residents are female and 49.4% are male. The median age is 35.8 and the average number of people per household is 2.7.
The racial makeup of Mesa is as follows:
- White: 62.6%
- Black: 3.5%
- Hispanic/Latino: 27.4%
- Asian: 2.0%
- Native American: 2.0%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.4%
- Two or More Races: 2.1%
- Other: 0.1%
The average income of a Mesa resident is $24,427 per year. The median household income is $48,259. The unemployment rate is 6.1%.
87.7% of Mesa residents are high school graduates, and 27.1% are only high school graduates. 17.3% of residents have two-year degrees, 26.1% have four-year degrees, 1.3% have master’s degrees, and 0.8% have professional degrees.
39.8% of Mesa residents are religious. 38% are Christian, 0.4% are Jewish, 1.1% are of the eastern faith, and 0.2% are affiliated with Islam.
Overall, Mesa, Arizona is not a liberal city and is mostly conservative, but the number of liberal people living in this city is increasing, so the city will likely become more liberal in the future. Keep an eye on future election results from Mesa, Arizona to see how they change over time.
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