Known for its distinctive music, dialects, and large celebrations, New Orleans is a popular destination for those searching for festivities and unique experiences in food and music. The city, is considerably less diverse, however, in political views. But is New Orleans a conservative city?
New Orleans, Louisiana is not a conservative city. In fact, it is ranked as one of the most liberal cities in the nation due to its pro-abortion views, LGBTQ+ support, elected government officials, Democratic party majority in voting, and financial contributions to Democratic and liberal campaigns.
There is an incredibly strong group of liberals living in the city. New Orleans shows this liberalism in a variety of areas throughout everyday city life, protests, elected leaders, and local laws.
The voting statistics and trends in an area are an excellent way to gauge the political climate of the city. Looking at larger elections will provide the most accurate depiction of the residents’ political views because there are more people who participate and cast votes in these than in smaller local elections. It is also extremely important to look at the most recent data as well, as it will show the most current state of the city rather than an image of out-of-date statistics.
In the 2020 presidential election, an incredible 83.1% of New Orleans voted for the Democratic candidate, and only 15% of participating voters supported the Republican candidate. The remaining 1.9% voted Independent. Orleans Parish, the county that New Orleans is in, has voted Democratic in every election since 2000. The city shows liberalism in current and historical voting trends.
Liberals encourage easy access and legal rights to perform and receive abortions, many liberals support abortions at nearly every stage of pregnancy. Conservatives, on the other hand, do not believe that abortions should be legal and work to minimize and ban the practice.
On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court announced that the 1973 Roe v Wade case was now overturned. This means that the right to legal abortions is no longer provided by the nation. Each state will make laws to legalize or ban abortions. Liberals and pro-abortionists around the country were outraged. Riots and protests were held in cities across the United States expressing their disapproval of the motion.
In New Orleans, a group of about 600 people gathered with signs, posters, megaphones, and lots of energy. Despite the 96-degree Fahrenheit weather, the protestors stood for hours chanting, screaming, and stomping. These people gathered the very day of the announcement, acting immediately to support one another and support legal abortion rights.
The protestors appealed to city officials to declare New Orleans to be a “sanctuary city” for abortions. Other cities that have made this announcement are located in states where the right to abortion is protected in state law or statute, meaning that the overruling will not change abortion availability within the state itself. Unlike Washington, Oregon, or California, Louisiana has a trigger law that bans all abortions.
Another protest was held on June 27th, 2022 in Jackson Square, New Orleans. Many of the participants stated that they will likely move out of Louisiana if an abortion ban is put in place, relocating somewhere where abortions are legal.
The large groups that gathered to support legal abortion rights demonstrate liberal ideals. These participants are only a fraction of the liberal citizens within New Orleans. The city has an astounding liberal majority among residents, and these protests held in favor of protecting abortion and reproductive rights are only one of many examples of these liberal views being demonstrated.
New Orleans is known for being incredibly supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals and loved ones in the community. This is also a liberal effort. Several publications have listed New Orleans as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the United States!
The city is known for its famous Pride Parade held annually in June, the recognized month of support for LGBTQ individuals. The event shows history all the way back until 1971! The Gay Liberation Front of New Orleans held a picnic celebration for gay individuals this year. While similar events were held around the city in subsequent years, the annual parade and other events were officially established in 1978. Thousands of supporters attend the events and parade, with attendance growing exponentially by the year.
There are also many organizations and events within the city that support these individuals. Some of these organizations include:
- New Orleans LGBT Community Center
- PFLAG New Orleans
- Lambda Center of New Orleans
- New Orleans LGBT Hospitality Alliance (NOLHA)
- Forum for Equality Louisiana
- Lesbian and Gay Community Center New Orleans
A wide variety of resources is provided within the community to support LGBTQ+ individuals and their loved ones in New Orleans. This is why the city is known to have such strong support for pride and holds such large events for pride month every June, attracting more participants each year. Liberalism is evident in the strength of LGBTQ+ support shown within the New Orleans community.
Financial Contributions to Political Campaigns
The financial contributions made to specific political party campaigns can be an excellent depiction of the political views and majority within a specific area or city. In New Orleans, the city’s liberalism is shown in the Democratic party and liberal campaigns receiving far more donations than their Republican competitors.
From 2018 to 2021, there were a total of 26,895 financial contributions made to the Democratic party and liberal campaigns in New Orleans alone. These contributions made a total of $4,602,478 and an average of $171 for these campaigns.
Opposing conservative efforts received only 4,615 contributions over the same three-year period. These Republican party and conservative campaigns gained a total of $6,571,886 and an average of $1,424 per contribution.
While the Republican party and conservative campaigns received more contributions in monetary value, the city still shows more liberalism in these statistics. The Democratic party and liberal campaigns received 22,280 more contributions than the Republican party and conservative campaigns. These liberal ideals received overwhelmingly more contributions, generally showing a higher number of individual contributors as well.
This means that there are far more supporters of the Democratic and liberal campaigns, but the few Republican and conservative campaign supporters have more money to donate, leading to the lower amount of contributors but the high average dollar amount made per contribution. While in the minority, these conservative supporters gave higher contributions in monetary value, leading to conservatives having a financial advantage over liberals despite the liberal majority.
Elected Government Officials
The current mayor of New Orleans is Mayor LaToya Cantrell. She assumed office in 2018, and her current term will end in January of 2026. Mayor Cantrell is affiliated with the Democratic party, supporting liberal ideals in her efforts to improve and care for the city. Some of these liberal views that Mayor Cantrell works toward include the imposition of stricter gun laws, efforts to combat climate change, and legal abortion rights.
Citizens of New Orleans voted to elect a mayor that will support their political views in the actions of the city. Mayor Cantrell and her liberal supporters are working to keep New Orleans a strongly liberal city.
Geography & Location
While the type of person, their background, employment, and financial status impact a person’s political views, a recent study proves that geographical location also has a strong influence on the political climate of an area’s population as a whole.
For example, the proximity of a person’s residence to a major metropolitan area, for these purposes this is defined as any city with 100,000 people or more, impacts their political affiliation. Generally, anyone living in a largely populated city, or nearby one, is significantly more likely to lean liberal rather than conservative.
The study goes on to claim that age, race, education, gender, and even religious affiliation weren’t able to negate this claim. Two people of the same age, gender, religion, and education level could be living in a rural area and an urban area, but the one living closer to a Metropolitan area will be far more likely to be Democratic or liberal.
With this information in mind, let’s look at the geographical location of New Orleans. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the largest city in the state, is approximately 349.8 square miles in total area. It is also home to more than 391,249 residents! Clearly, this is defined as a large Metropolitan area. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a city of approximately 222,191 people, is only 75 miles away from New Orleans. In fact, it is also located within 500 miles of cities such as Birmingham, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Memphis!
New Orleans is a highly populated and large Metropolitan area and city as a whole. In addition to this, it is surrounded by some of the largest cities in the southern United States! This study proved that living in and near highly populated areas makes every person considerably more likely to lean liberal. For a city that can be categorized in both of these categories, it is no wonder why New Orleans is such a strongly liberal city.