Is Raleigh, North Carolina a Liberal City?

Political opinions are just that: opinions. And opinions vary based on the person, location, and sometimes even the time of day. While there is a large range of differing views on political subjects, the political climate of an area can be important to know before moving to or even visiting a city!

Raleigh, North Carolina is a moderately liberal city. The current mayor is a Democrat, and the county has voted Democratic in the last four presidential elections. The city also demonstrates liberal views in voting trends, financial contributions, elected government officials, and other policies.

This article will explain more clearly what aspects of life in Raleigh, North Carolina show that the city is liberal. There are a variety of areas where the city and its residents make their liberal views clear, a few of which are explained in more detail below.

Recent Voting Statistics and Trends

The recent voting trendsOpens in a new tab. and statistical data in Raleigh are prime indications of the city’s liberal majority and views.

In the most recent 2020 presidential election, Wake County retained its incredible Democratic majority. Approximately 62.3% of Raleigh’s participating residents voted in favor of the Democratic Party. The opposing Republican candidate received only 35.8% of the total vote count, meaning that the remaining 1.9% voted Independent. Wake County has voted Democratic in the last four presidential elections, following Republican victories in 2000 and 2004.

The Democratic Party, and its liberal views, didn’t simply win the majority of votes. They claimed nearly twice as many voters as their Republican and conservative opponents, with a strong lead accounting for considerably more than half of Raleigh’s participating voters’ support. This shows that the city’s strong majority of residents support the Democratic Party and liberal stances on political subjects, sufficiently so to vote for a Democratic President to lead the United States of America.

Financial Donations to Political Campaigns

While the city’s voting trends show a liberal view in the city, Raleigh’s recent financial donationsOpens in a new tab. to political parties also support this liberal majority.

Over the last four years, from 2018 – 2021, the city of Raleigh made 160,964 contributions for a total sum of $19,689,872 in donated funds supporting campaigns led by liberals and the Democratic Party. This adds to an average of $122 donated per contribution in this time frame.

The Republican Party and conservative campaigns received fewer contributions and funds. Over the same period of time, their contributions made totaled 27,703 for a final sum of $14,285,502 in donation money and an average of $516 per contribution.

This is the most recent data on the city’s donations to politically associated campaigns. Over the last four years, the Democratic Party and liberal campaigns received 133.261 more contributions and a total of $5,404,370 more in funds donated than their Republican and conservative opponents. This is an incredible difference in both the number of contributors as well as the funds raised! Raleigh is a liberal city, and one method of supporting its liberal beliefs is through funds donated to the city’s liberal campaigns.

Elected Government Officials

Liberals in Raleigh, North Carolina also show their hold on the city through elected government officials. The current mayor of Raleigh is Mary-Ann BaldwinOpens in a new tab.. While elections in the city for the office of the mayor are nonpartisan, Baldwin has stated that she is a Democrat. Before her election to the office of mayor in 2019, Baldwin served as a member of the Raleigh City Council for many years beginning in 2007. She has been supported and elected by the residents of Raleigh as a city officer for many years, and has a great amount of community following.

While Raleigh is not solely responsible for North Carolina’s representatives, they do have an impact on the voting and outcome. The current governorOpens in a new tab. in the state of North Carolina is Roy Cooper, who is also a member of the Democratic Party. He is an active fighter on the issues of gun rights and climate control in the state of North Carolina and works to strengthen gun laws and limit climate change.

Residents of Raleigh support government officials who share their liberal political stances and views. Mayor Baldwin and Governor Cooper are only two of many examples of this liberal support.

Gun Laws

One strong liberal belief is that firearms should be placed in the hands of law enforcement officers, and not in the possession of other citizens. They believe this will decrease gun violence, and strive to pass policies that will make gun laws more strict, preventing citizens from purchasing more guns or retaining those that they currently own.

If you are unsure how that compares to conservative beliefs, then a basic run-down is that conservatives believe that people who obtain guns illegally will continue to do so even if guns become illegal. So, they think that citizens need to have access to guns in order to protect themselves from those who will forcefully use guns on them. This is not the shared belief that Raleigh, North Carolina has. Here, they are definitely more liberal as stated, and would prefer guns to be hard to get on and off the streets for the protection of every citizen.

In 2019, a directive was signed that strengthened background checks on gun purchases. The directive was intended to identify potential threats more quickly as a protective action against mass shootings. This is a way to help prevent, avoid, predict, and eliminate the gun threats that occur annually.

After a recent mass shooting in Texas, Governor Cooper of North Carolina takes further actionOpens in a new tab. against gun violence. He believes that stricter gun laws will prevent this sort of occurrence to be repeated or to take place in North Carolina.

“We’ve seen it too many times…Mass shootings. Easy-to-get military assault weapons. Teachers turning themselves into human shields. Children murdered. What on earth is more important than protecting our children?”

Governor Roy Cooper; North Carolina

Governor Cooper, well known for his plight against citizens’ gun possession, appealedOpens in a new tab. to the General Assembly for the limitation of gun rights that directly violate the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. He called for the closing of “loopholes” present in legislation regarding certain weapons, and to allow judges the ability to remove guns from owners that are violent criminals and those who are severely mentally ill.

These efforts to strengthen gun laws are another representation of citizens’ liberal political views. Democrats and liberals work to keep guns from citizens and only in possession of law enforcement. If you share this belief, then moving to Raleigh can be good for you and you will be in a place where the politicians put in place your wishes for laws and policies.

Climate Change

Democrats and liberals are also known to take efforts to prevent climate change, and the implementation of more eco-friendly systems and practices to reduce emissions. One example of these liberal efforts is found in Executive Order 80: North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy. In this order, a plan and a series of goals are given for the state in the years leading up to 2025.

These are the goals placed in E80:

  • Reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels
  • Increase the number of registered, zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to at least 80,000
  • Reduce energy consumption per square foot in state-owned buildings by at least 40% from the fiscal year 2002-2003 levels

The action also moved to create a group of representatives united in the purpose of ending climate change and wanting to take action in the state of North Carolina. This group is known as the Climate Change Interagency CouncilOpens in a new tab. and will work on the goals and plans outlined by Executive Order 80.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will lead the council, and the organization’s secretary will serve as chair. The Council will consist of one representative from the Governor’s office, and the Secretary or designee from each cabinet agency as well.

Other initiatives such as the Clean Energy PlanOpens in a new tab. and the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment Opens in a new tab.and Resilience Plan have also been instated in North Carolina to work towards a more eco-friendly state and decrease the emission of gases and fossil fuels as well.

It is so important to protect the earth, and that simple fact is something everyone can agree on whether or not they believe in climate change. More and more companies are making stronger efforts to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. If you want to find ways to be more sustainable then start by looking at all of the single-use items you use, like plastic bags, and find a way you can switch over to a more sustainable product.

Not everyone can change to fully sustainable products in a day, so over time making those simple decisions will be helpful. But, starting with simple changes like spastic bags to reusable silicone bags is a great start. These are changes that can help us cut back on our waste, and in turn, helps the environment.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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