There are a lot of controversies these days that are centered around politics, and many people want those around them to have the same political beliefs that they do. If you live in Riverside, California, are your neighbors more likely to be liberal or conservative?
Riverside, California is a liberal city. The majority of Riverside residents voted for the Democratic candidates in four of the last six presidential elections. Riverside County is also a fairly liberal area, and California is a moderately liberal state.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the political climate of a city. To figure out if Riverside is a liberal city, we need to look at the results of presidential elections, local leaders, supported policies, and demographics of the city.
The results of presidential elections in a city are a big indicator of the political climate. The two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic party and the Republican party, represent liberal and conservative perspectives. The Democratic party has mostly liberal members and supports liberal policies, so if the majority of residents vote for the Democratic candidate, the city is mostly liberal. The Republican party has mostly conservative members and supports conservative policies, so if the majority of residents vote for the Republican candidate, the city is mostly conservative.
It is important to consider not only the candidate that got the most votes but also how many votes they won by. In every election, a percentage of the votes are for the Democratic candidate, and a percentage of the votes are for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages is how much the winning candidate won by. If the difference is high, the candidate won by a lot of votes and the city is firmly liberal or conservative. If the difference is low, the city is closer to being evenly split between liberal and conservative.
California is a moderately liberal state. The majority of residents in the state have voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 2000. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, the difference between the percentages of Democratic and Republican candidates was close to 10%. In every other election, the differences were over 20%. The lowest difference was 9.9% in 2004, and the highest difference was 30.1% in 2016.
In the 2020 presidential election, 63.5% of California residents voted for the Democratic candidate, and 34.3% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference was 29.2%, which was the second-highest difference after 2016.
Riverside County, the county in which the city of Riverside is, is a fairly liberal area. The Democratic candidate got the most votes in four of the last six elections. The differences between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes were less than 10% in every election except for the 2004 election. The highest difference was 16.79% in 2004, and the lowest difference was 1.65% in 2012.
In the 2020 election, 52.98% of Riverside County residents voted for the Democratic candidate and 45.04% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference was 7.94%, which was the second highest after 2004.
Riverside, like Riverside County and the state of California, is mostly liberal. In 2000 and 2004, the majority of Riverside residents voted for the Republican candidate. In every other election, the majority of residents voted for the Democratic candidate. The difference between the percentages of Democratic and Republican votes was lower than 10% in every election except for the 2004 election. The percentages and differences are comparable to those of Riverside County.
From 2018 to 2021, there were 23,570 contributions to the Democratic party in Riverside. This added up to $1,718,892. In contrast, there were 4,653 contributions to the Republican party in Riverside during that same time. Those added up to $1,527,980. Though there were almost six times more contributions to the Democratic party, the amount of money made from donations was close to equal. This is because the donations to the Republican party were about 4.5 times larger on average than the donations made to the Democratic party.
The local leaders of a city represent the political climate. The local leaders were elected by the people based on their beliefs and promises. Looking at the enacted policies, campaign policies, and party affiliations can help determine if a city is mostly Democrat or Republican.
The mayor of Riverside is one of the most important elected officials in the city. The mayor represents the city at state, national, and international levels. The mayor also leads city council meetings and most city ceremonies.
The current mayor of Riverside is Patricia Lock Dawson. She was elected in 2020. Her current term will end in 2024. She was elected in 2020 with 58.8% of the vote, winning by 20,250 votes.
Mayor Dawson’s focus in office has been on cleaning up the Santa Ana River, improving the downtown area, innovating the economy, and improving the quality of life of citizens.
Mayoral elections in Riverside are nonpartisan, so Mayor Dawson is not a member of a political party. She hasn’t been known to be affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties. However, her focuses suggest that she is of a mostly liberal mindset.
The Riverside City Council is a board of elected officials that serves as the primary legislative body of the city. The city council adopts the budget, approves the appointees of the mayor, imposes taxes, and creates or changes city laws. The city council has eight members, including the mayor, though the mayor does not actually have a vote. The mayor is elected by the whole city, but the other seven members are each elected by one of the city’s seven wards.
All of the current city council members are nonpartisan. However, the policies and goals of the city council suggest that it is made up of mostly liberal members.
The policies supported in a city are another indicator of the political climate. Certain 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 all likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.
Abortions in California must be performed before 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the patient’s life or health is in danger. Unlike in some states, there is no requirement for counseling or ultrasounds before an abortion can be performed. Private insurance policies, insurance policies for public employees, health plans, and public funding can all legally cover abortions. The parents of a minor don’t need to consent or be notified before that minor can receive an abortion.
In 2017, there were 419 facilities providing abortions in California, 161 of which were clinics. This is a 6% increase from 2014. 40% of California counties don’t have clinics, which leaves 3% of California women without access to abortions.
Residents of Riverside tend to support the low number of abortion restrictions, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.
Gun Control Laws
California has the strongest gun laws in the United States. The state had the seventh-lowest gun-related death rate and fifth-lowest crime gun export rate in 2020. California gun laws include universal background checks, domestic violence gun laws, assault weapon and magazine restrictions, waiting periods, concealed and open carry regulations, minimum age laws, safe storage laws, lost/stolen firearm reporting, a ghost gun ban, gun dealer regulations, and firearm sales record retention.
Residents of Riverside tend to support the high number of gun control laws, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.
California legalized same-sex marriage on June 28, 2013, and was the tenth state to do so. This was about two years before the Supreme Court mandate required all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Residents of Riverside generally supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.
The population of Riverside is about 330,786 people, and the population density is about 4,071 people per square mile. 50.5% of the population is female, and 49.5% is male. The median age is 30.9, and the average number of people per household is 3.3.
The racial makeup of Riverside is as follows:
- White: 31.1%
- Black: 5.7%
- Hispanic/Latino: 52.8%
- Asian: 7.1%
- Native American: 0.3%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.3%
- Two or More Races: 2.6%
- Other: 0.3%
45.8% of Riverside residents are married, and 9.8% are divorced. 37.5% are married with children, and 19.4% are single with children.
The average income in Riverside is $22,212 per year. The median household income is $56,089 per year. The unemployment rate is 7.1%. The sales tax rate is 8.8%, and the income tax rate is 9.3%.
79.4% of Riverside residents are high school graduates, and 23.9% are only high school graduates. 13.3% of residents have two-year degrees, 22.4% have four-year degrees, 1.4% have master’s degrees, and 1.5% have professional degrees.
46.1% of Riverside residents are religious. 44.8% are Christian, 0.1% are Jewish, 0.5% are of an eastern faith, and 0.5% are affiliated with Islam.
The rate of violent crime in Riverside on a scale of 1 to 100 is 28.7. The rate of property crime on the same scale is 46.7. Both are slightly higher than the national average.