Is Portland, Oregon a Conservative City?

As one of the largest cities in the Northwest, Portland consistently receives a high amount of visitors and new residents each year. Being such a popular place, many visitors and potential citizens wonder about the political climate of Portland and what values are held highest within the large community.

Portland, Oregon is not a conservative city. Residents show a Democratic majority that supports liberal views and policies. The elected government officials, voting trends, and financial contributions in Portland highly favor liberalism and show little support for conservative efforts.

There are a large number of statistics, laws, and areas in which the city of Portland continually values liberalism over conservative beliefs. A few of these examples are explained below.

Political Campaigns and Financial Contributions

The financial contributionsOpens in a new tab. made to political parties over a few years time can be an excellent representation of the support a community gives to particular views and ideals. In the case of Portland, the Democratic party and liberal campaigns are almost always the campaigns that receive the largest amount of support in both numbers of participants and in finances.

Over the last four years, the city of Portland is recorded to have made a total of 255,960 contributions to the Democratic party and liberal campaigns. These contributions earned a total of $26,517,426 and an average of $104 per contribution made.

The Republican party and conservatives campaigns in Portland only received a total of 15,816 contributions and $5,250,652 for an average of $332 per contribution over the same time period of 2018 through 2021.

In Portland, there were 240,144 more contributions made and $21,266,774 more raised for liberal campaigns or others that support liberal views. The city has strong liberal views and encourages the representation of these beliefs. In comparison, little support is shown for conservative campaigns.

Low Religious Population

As previously mentioned, liberals and conservatives differ in opinions on the correct application of religion to political beliefs and views. Liberals separate their religious beliefs and consider them as a subject entirely irrelevant in the formation of political stances. Conservatives apply religious values and beliefs to their political views, making more highly religious populations generally more conservative communities.

Portland, Oregon is far from a religious community. The city was described as “America’s Most Religiously Unaffiliated Metro”. For a country that defines itself as “One Nation, Under God”, this is a unique and solitary achievement for the city of Portland. One study done in 2015Opens in a new tab. states that 42% of residents in the Portland area defined themselves as atheist, agnostic, or otherwise unaffiliated with a specific religion. This is nearly half of the population!

A more current study done by bestplaces.netOpens in a new tab. reports that only 29.6% of Portland residents are religious. The highest percentages of residents belonging to any particular religion were 7.9% defining themselves as Catholic, with a close second of 3.9% as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and only 2.5% Pentecostal. All other religions represented accounted for 1.1% or less of the area’s population.

The city of Portland is not a strongly religious community. In fact, studies show that half or more of the population is entirely unaffiliated with religion. This is an indication of liberalism, as conservatives are generally accounted for in the religious populations of communities.

Democratic Majority in Voting & Elections

The most recent voting statistics in Portland, OregonOpens in a new tab. show an overwhelmingly strong Democratic majority. This is an indication of strong liberalism in the city among voters. In the most recent Presidential election, 79.2% of participating voters sided with the Democratic party candidate on the ballot in Portland alone. The Republican party candidate only received 17.9% of the votes, and the remaining 2.9% voted independent.

A Democratic majority in voting trends shows that the area supports liberal ideals. However, an incredibly dramatic lead for the Democratic party such as the occurrence in Portland of nearly 80% Democratic to under 20% Republican paints a clear picture. Portland is overwhelmingly liberal and admirably united in the belief.

Elected Government Officials

The current mayor of Portland, Oregon is Mayor Ted Wheeler. He has served in this office since he was elected in 2017. Mayor Wheeler is associated with the Democratic party and represents this political affiliation in his liberal beliefs, actions, and support for a large number of liberal efforts.

He is recorded to have recently supported the protection and legalization of abortions for all American citizens, the strengthening of gun laws to decrease gun violence, and the increased funding and support in Portland’s efforts to combat climate change. These are some of many liberal views advocated by the current mayor of Portland and his supporters who elected him to office.

In addition to local governmental leadership, the federal representatives of Portland and other Oregon residents also support liberal ideals and parties. In fact, there is a strong historical pattern of the Democratic majority among the state’s elected officials.

For the last fourteen years, the Democratic partyOpens in a new tab. has held control of the Senate, governor, and house representatives for the state of Oregon. The Attorney General, Secretary of State, and both chambers of the Oregon State Legislature are held by the Democratic party as well. Liberal citizens elect leaders who advocate their liberal beliefs, showing that the majority of Oregon citizens are liberal. As the largest city in the state and the state capital, Portland has a large representation in these decisions.

Climate Change

While there are conservatives that support nature preservation and efforts against climate change, this is a strong liberal view and highly advocated among the Democratic party and other liberals.

The city of Portland works hard to combat climate change and decrease its carbon footprint. In May of 2022, Mayor Wheeler announced a 2.4 million dollar investmentOpens in a new tab. towards efforts against climate change. The decision was announced by Rubio, a commissioner of the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

“Climate change is not stopping, or even slowing—and our opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience is fast closing.”

commissioner rubio, Portland Bureau of planning and sustainability

Commissioner Rubio and Mayor Wheeler stated that this unprecedented size of donation will go toward the funding of several aspects of the city’s climate change efforts. A clean air action plan will be developed, a larger focus on low-income communities will be given, staff will be hired to fill new positions in these efforts, the electric grid and transportation will be decarbonized as much as possible, and the current environment and transportation will be adjusted.

All of these efforts to combat climate change are supported by the Democratic party. Liberals believe strongly in the limitation of fossil fuels, increase in renewable energy resources, and eco-friendly efforts and actions. The liberal views in the city of Portland made these environmental efforts possible.

Abortion Views

Of all the US states, Oregon is one of the largest supporters of legal abortion procedures. There are several groups centered in Portland that work to promote and protect the legal right of abortions for all women seeking these procedures and care. Some of these groups are Pro-choice Oregon, Oregon Right to Life, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.

Abortions in Portland, and all of Oregon, are legal at all stages of pregnancy. The Reproductive Health Equity Act, passed in 2017, protects this legal right to an abortion procedure. In fact, the Oregon Health Authority declares that this applies to not only Oregon residents, but any out-of-state patient who travels to Oregon for the procedure. Liberals believe in protecting legal rights to abortion procedures, making these laws another indication of the strong liberalism in the city of Portland.

With the announcement of the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned, the pro-abortionists in Portland were outraged. In fact, a group of them even attacked a pregnancy assistance centerOpens in a new tab. after the Supreme Court made the announcement!

Many protests and rallies were held in Portland to show their opposition to the decision that was announced. The announcement was made on the afternoon of Friday, June 24th in 2022. On the very day of the announcement, thousands of Portland residents gathered in downtown Portland.Opens in a new tab. They carried signs, banners, and posters reading pro-abortion slogans. Many of them wore green, the designated color of abortion awareness and rights support. They shouted and chanted together, people of all ages and backgrounds.

Portland is a strong supporter of legal abortion rights. The city is highly liberal in its views in many areas, and abortion is no exception.

Physician Assisted Suicides

Liberals promote the legalization of medications that speed up the death of terminally ill patients that are given a prognosis of fewer than six months to live. Conservatives, on the other hand, oppose the legalization of physician-assisted suicides and work to limit access to them as much as possible, eliminating them entirely when possible. This is referred to as assisted physician suicides or deaths. Oregon was the first state to pass this kind of law and did so with its Death with Dignity Act back in October of 1997.

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