The political climate of the city you live in is very important to some people. Is Montgomery a city that is politically liberal, or does it lean to the conservative side?
Montgomery, Alabama is a moderately liberal city. Though Alabama is a highly conservative state, Montgomery leans liberal, and Montgomery County is strongly liberal overall. In the 2020 presidential election, 65.1% of people in Montgomery county voted for the Democratic candidate.
There are a lot of aspects to the political climate in Montgomery, Alabama that many people don’t know about. There are also a lot of aspects to be considered when deciding whether a city is largely conservative or liberal.
Liberal vs Conservative
Before getting into how liberal the city of Montgomery is, it is important that you understand the difference between liberal and conservative. Though no one is going to have the same political, economic, and social views, there are some beliefs and opinions that people with conservative and liberal points of view tend to hold.
Those who consider themselves conservatives generally believe in a smaller government with less regulation. They believe that services should be provided by the private sector. They also believe that government should tax less and spend less money and the priority should be to cut spending. Many conservatives are opposed to gay marriage and abortion and support the right to bear arms and the death penalty. The Republican party is considered to be largely conservative.
People who consider themselves liberal tend to believe that the government should provide more regulation and services, such as universal health care. They believe that taxes should be increased if necessary to support these programs and that higher-income earners should pay a higher percentage of the income. Many liberals support gay marriage and abortion, want more regulations on gun control, and are opposed to the death penalty. The Democratic party has mostly liberal values.
Liberal Area of Alabama
Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the US. 46% of residents consider themselves conservative, and the state voted Republican 13 times in the last 15 elections. It is widely considered one of the top ten most conservative states in the US, though the position tends to vary based on the factors that are considered when deciding how conservative a state is.
However, near the middle of the state, there is a belt of about 12 counties that are consistently liberal. One of these counties is Montgomery county, which, as you can imagine, is where the city of Montgomery is. Montgomery county is considered strongly liberal. 65.1% of people voted Democratic in the presidential election, while only 33.6% voted Republican. The county has voted for the Democratic candidate in the presidential election since the year 2000.
In Montgomery itself, 85% of residents consider themselves Democratic. Since the Democratic party is largely liberal, this means that a significant portion of the population of Montgomery is considered liberal. Citizens of Montgomery are also more likely to support policies that are supported by liberals. Therefore, we can conclude that Montgomery is a mostly liberal city.
It’s interesting to see that the state capital of Alabama is largely liberal even though Alabama is a typically conservative state. It shows that there are a lot of factors that go into the way someone leans politically, and they are not only influenced by where they live.
The mayor of Montgomery is Steven L. Reed. He was sworn in as the 57th mayor of Montgomery in 2019 and will serve until 2023. He is the first African American to be mayor of Montgomery. He has worked to increase funding for public schools, improve mental health services, and support marriage equality. Though he considers himself nonpartisan, his ideals and the policies that he supports are generally similar to the ideals and policies that are ascribed to the liberal point of view.
Mayor Reed was first elected as a Probate Judge, which is a judge in civil court that typically oversees the estates of deceased people. During this time, he improved mental health services so that people with mental illnesses can get better help. He was also the first probate judge in Alabama to grant same-sex marriage licenses.
As Mayor, Reed is working to collaborate with Montgomery Public Schools to increase funding, access to technology, and available teaching tools to help students in these public schools.
The residents of Montgomery tend to vote Democratic in both local and national elections, though two of the city council members are Republican, two are Democratic, and the rest are nonpartisan. More residents of Montgomery are likely to vote for the Democratic candidate than the Republican candidate in the presidential election.
The probability that a resident in Montgomery is pro-choice is 50.5%. The probability that a resident is pro-environment is 53.4%, pro-gun control is 65.9%, and pro-tax is 90%. All of these policies are generally supported by the liberal perspective much more than the conservative perspective.
The population of Montgomery is 196,268, and the population density is 1,228 people per square mile.
- White: 32.3%
- Black: 59.8%
- Asian: 2.5%
- Native American: 0.1%
- Hispanic: 3.5%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
- Two or More: 1.7%
- Other: 0.1%
Women make up 52.9% of the population, and men make up 47.1%. The median age is 35 years old.
40.3% of the population is married, though only 24.1% of residents are married with children, while 33.0% are married with no children. 28.4% of residents are single with children, and 14.5% are single and have no children. 12.5% of the population are divorced and 6.4% are widowed.
These demographics may be the reason why Montgomery is a liberal city. The majority of residents in Montgomery are Black. In general, Black citizens have a strong tendency to vote Democratic. There are probably a lot of different factors that are influencing the fact that Montgomery is a liberal city in a conservative state, but the high number of Black residents is likely a significant cause.
Montgomery was one of the cities with a strong Civil Rights movement. Some people consider it the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, though cities such as Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia also have a claim to that title. Many influential events in the Civil Rights Movement took place in Montgomery.
One of these influential demonstrations was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-1956, which is considered the first large-scale demonstration against segregation. The face of this boycott was Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. Four days after this, the boycott began, and 40,000 Black passengers refused to ride the buses. This is one of the most well-known demonstrations of the Civil Rights movement to this day. The boycott put Martin Luther King Jr., the most famous leader of the Civil Rights movement, in the spotlight.
Why Do People Vote Liberal or Conservative?
There are a lot of factors that shape how people tend to vote. Whether or not someone votes liberal or conservative often depends on their race/ethnicity, religion, gender, region, and family. Not everyone is going to be influenced by these factors in the same way, but taking a look at voting and demographics shows some significant trends.
Race and ethnicity can often influence how a person votes. For example, African Americans will often vote Democratic. There is a strong tendency for Black citizens to vote Democratic. Other races/ethnicities will tend to vote differently. These are not hard and fast rules, as individuals have their own opinions, but the voting trends show that some people of certain races tend to vote a certain way.
Religion is also a big influence on how someone votes. Catholics and Protestants are more likely to vote conservative because conservative social ideals align more with religious morals. Conservatives tend to oppose abortion and gay marriage, which many religions are opposed to as well.
Gender can also be a factor in how a person votes. Women are more likely to lean toward liberal points of view. This is because liberals often support women’s rights more strongly than conservatives do. Liberals will also often support LGBT+ rights more than conservatives, so transgender individuals are more likely to support that political view.
The area in which someone lives can also influence how they vote. Certain areas lean more toward liberal or conservative views, which can influence the people living there. When the people around you tend to support a certain view and the news stations are skewed liberal or conservative, it can have a big influence on how you see the issues.
People will often vote the same as their families. Children are often influenced by the views of their parents. People who are especially politically active will have even more influence on their families. The similarity of their views on specific issues may be less consistent, but in general, people will vote similar to how other members of their family vote.
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