I was born and raised in the capitol of California. Due to this I was frequently swooped into political conversations about local politics. From this I was able to get a grasp on whether the city of Sacramento (as a whole) is more liberal or conservative.
Sacramento is a Liberal city. Recent elections and votes have seen an overwhelming liberal-leaning within the city. Sacramento has had recent motivation to implement policies regarding energy, climate change, taxation, gun control, and immigration which have heavily favored general liberal policies.
We will dive into what a liberal is, and what officials and votes have been elected in Sacramento in order to make it a ‘liberal city.’
Is Sacramento A Liberal City?
While Sacramento is largely liberal, it is not much different than the rest of the state of California. Most of the policies enacted have been liberal throughout the state. Sacramento just follows that political trend.
With that being said…
With 80% of the cities population being liberal, I would say that they are largely liberal.
This low number of 20.3% being registered republican voters is a lower number than the state average of 24% being registered republicans or members of the GOP. Source
With such a low percentage of the population, republican voters are in the easy minority in this area.
This tendency leads to policies favoring liberal beliefs, many elected officials holding liberal beliefs, and the city and state government pushing for liberal policies.
With Sacramento being in California, many would have predicted that they were a liberal city. With that being said, the margins between liberals and conservatives is large here.
What Is A Liberal?
The real question we need to ask ourselves is, what is a liberal? There are many schools of thought when it comes to this. Not everyone the same, so many who refer to themselves as liberal may have very differing opinions than other so-called ‘liberals.’
Everyone defines themselves and their beliefs differently, but below is a table that should clear up what we are talking about when we refer to ‘liberals.’ It covers some general beliefs that are held by many of those who identify as liberals.
|Death Penalty||We should abolish the death penalty.|
|Economy||Favor a market system in which government|
regulates the economy. We need government
to protect us against big businesses.
|The Environment||The U.S. should enact laws to significantly|
reduce the amount of carbon dioxide.
|Gun Control||The Second Amendment gives no individual|
the right to own a gun, but allows the state
to keep a militia
|Healthcare||Support universal government-supervised|
|Immigration||Support legal immigration and increasing the|
number of legal immigrants permitted to
enter the U.S. each year. Support blanket
amnesty for current illegal immigrants.
|War on Terror||America needs to stop angering other countries.|
|Same Sex Marriage||Marriage should be legal for gay, lesbian,|
bisexual and transgender couples to ensure
equal rights for all.
|Taxes||Support higher taxes and a larger|
government. High taxes allow the
government to do good and create jobs.
|Welfare||Support welfare. We need welfare to provide|
for the poor.
As I said, everybody has differing opinions and it doesn’t matter what you label yourself as. With that being said, this list is a summary of some typical ‘liberal’ beliefs.
Along with this, in the political sphere, liberals are often registered as democrats. More often than not, the democrat party takes on these liberal values, so the areas with liberals will lean toward Democratic candidates.
With all of this in mind, we will move forward talking about who has been elected and what policies have been passed in recent years.
This is probably the easiest trend to follow when figuring out if Sacramento is a liberal city. Since many vote for candidates who align with their own beliefs, there should be an overwhelming majority of liberal officials.
Being that the democrat party is often the more liberal, we should see more Democratic leaders. This is the case when we look at Sacramento and California at large.
In the 2020 election, Joe Biden won the popular vote with a 58% majority over Donald Trump in Sacramento. Source
In a highly divided election with a lot of focus on the policies, this would lead me to believe that the majority of people in Sacramento are liberal.
This is also true for the 2016 election where Hillary Clinton won 62% of the vote over Donald Trump when all was said and done. Source
In the past, California and Sacramento were republican, voting Ronald Reagan as governor and as president. The most recent majority republican vote within the state was for George H.W Bush. Ever since then there has been a large swing to the left. This can be seen through the last 4 governors of the state.
The current governor is Gavin Newsom who is a registered democrat. Before that it was Jerry Brown who was a democrat, Arnold Schwarzenegger who was a republican, and then Gray Davis who was a democrat. 3 of the 4 were staunch democrats who metaphorically fought and died for the liberal agenda. The obvious outlier here is Schwarzenegger, who was a republican.
In each of these cases, Sacramento tended to swing toward the ‘liberal’ candidate. Even now the votes are increasing in the liberals’ favor. In California,
Democrats hold all the statewide offices and a supermajority in the Legislature.Source
This staggering fact shows that the state of California, and by proxy Sacramento, are largely liberal.
Below we will talk about the individual policies that have been passed in recent years in California and Sacramento specifically. Just based on the facts, it is easy to see liberal policies being passed.
Right now it is legal for adults (over 21) to: Smoke or otherwise consume marijuana/cannabisSource
California was one of the first states to legalize marijuana altogether. For many years marijuana legalization was seen as a liberal policy. California and Colorado were among the first to legalize and permit the use of marijuana.
Democrats in Sacramento are proposing to raise the state’s already punitive 13.3% top income tax rate to 16.8%Source
Based on the criteria for a ‘liberal’ we stated above, they favor a higher tax rate. With the state being one of the largest taxation states in the nation, Sacramento is no exception to the rule within the state. It is a common liberal belief that the more the people are taxed, the better off the community will be.
In terms of illegal immigration, liberals and democrats usually favor some tolerance for these people who come to the United States undocumented.
One of these acts of tolerance is the use of sanctuary cities.
Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain police procedures that shelters illegal immigrants.Source
Sacramento County is counted as one of those sanctuary cities in the source above. This list of sanctuary cities is short, with only a select few actually being allowed for illegal immigrants. This leads to the assumption that these cities on the short list heavily favor liberal policy.
California lawmakers had another busy year passing gun-related legislation. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a staunch proponent of gun control, signed more than a dozen bills one day this fallSource
There has been a recent push to control the use and purchase of guns within the state and within the city of Sacramento. California has seemingly paved the way for future gun control throughout the United States.
From personal experience going with my grandpa, I can state without question that these gun control laws are being put into effect. With extensive background checks, and limits on what guns and which ammunition for those guns are allowed, the rules are staunch.
Gov. Gavin Newsom today ordered state officials to ban new gasoline-powered cars within 15 yearsSource
In a game-changing and controversial move, the elected governor of California is now banning gasoline-powered cars within the next 15 years. This aligns with liberal policy which is afraid that climate change will become deadly in the near future.
The thought process here is that if emissions are reduced, that this will translate to a healthier planet which will help it avoid some form of disaster.
Another largely liberal supported piece of legislation, health care for all is being created and supported in California in a large way.
Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal programs provide no-cost or low-cost health insurance for adults who are aged (65 years or older), blind, disabled, pregnant, or in a long-term facility; for children who are under 21 years of ageSource
This is largely supported by the increase in taxes mentioned above. The hope here is that everyone will be able to receive medical treatment when they need it. In the end, Sacramento is a liberal city. This is largely based on the fact that they are located in California. With that being said, the city follows the trends of the state and is the hub for politics within the state.
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