Is Santa Barbara, California a Liberal City?

Santa Barbara is a beautiful community. If you are thinking of moving there you may be concerned if your political beliefs match up with the residents of the city. I have listened to the responses of locals from this area to see what they think, and the majority believe that Santa Barbara is a Liberal City.

The majority of Santa Barbara’s citizens are liberal. During the 2020 presidential election, 64.% voted Democrat, 32.6% voted Republican, and 2.8% voted Independent. It has been over 24 years since the Democrat party lost the presidential election in Santa Barbara.

I have written about the political history and movements that Santa Barbara, California has had. This will give you a better understanding of the political culture of Santa Barbara, California, and help you decide whether or not you want to move here.

Voting Patterns

Santa Barbara’s voting patterns reveal its true Liberal nature. In the 2020 presidential election, 64.5% of voting residents voted Democrat, while only 32.6% voted Republican and 2.8% voted Independent. This shows a huge gap in votes between Republicans and Democrats, showing how much support the Democrat party gets in Santa Barbara.

It has been about 24 years since the Democrat Party lost the presidential election in Santa Barbara. It has also been 16 years since there was less than a 10% victory difference between Democrats and Republicans, which also shows that most people vote for the Democratic party during elections.

SantaOpens in a new tab. BarbaraOpens in a new tab., California is the 24th congressional district of California. The 24th congressional district is currently being represented by Salud Carbajal. Salud Carbajal is a strong Democrat and is a good representative of his people.

Santa Barbara, California has had a Democrat for the congressional leader since 2013. This shows how the people of Santa Barbara want themselves portrayed in Congress.

Salud Carbajal was born in Mexico but immigrated to the United States of America when he was a child. His father was a farmer and thought that America possesses a lot of promise in the field of agriculture.

Salud Carbajal was the 24th district’s first Latino representative and has brought the immigrant experience to play in Santa Barbara.

City Council

In the Santa BarbaraOpens in a new tab. city council, six elected city council members and one mayor make up the seven-member nonpartisan governmental body. Each of the six city council members serves in a specific city in Santa Barbara to make sure that everyone that lives in the city is represented and has their needs met. However, the mayor represents the entire city as a whole and therefore has more power than the rest of the city council members.

City council workers work under the City Charter and help with the annual budget and other financial affairs of the city. They also have the power and authority to adopt ordinances and resolutions, create appointments to advisory boards and commissions, approve programs, establish policies and act on program and administrative recommendations of the city staff. They also can appropriate funds and approve contracts and respond to the concerns and needs of the residents.

The mayor presses over all of the City Council meetings which are held weekly in open public sessions at the Council Chambers. These meetings are typically held on Tuesday at 2:00 pm. During the Covid-19 pandemic, though, all meetings were held virtually.

The members of the city council are Kristen Sneddon, Alejandra Gutierrez, Mike Jordan, Mayor Randy Rowse, Eric Friedman, Meagan Harmon, and Oscar Gutierre.

The mayor, Randy Rowse, is a registered Democrat along with the majority of the city council. Therefore, since the city is Democrat, it makes sense that the majority of its leaders are Democrats.

Cathy Murillo

The mayor before Randy Rowse was Cathy Murillo. COpens in a new tab.aOpens in a new tab.tOpens in a new tab.hOpens in a new tab.yOpens in a new tab. Opens in a new tab.MurilloOpens in a new tab. served from 2018 to 2021. She was the first Latina to ever serve on the City Council.

Cathy promoted the interest of the children in Santa Barbara by creating a new Children’s Library. She also created a Community Choice Energy program and secured funding for a new police station.

She was mayor during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and created the City’s Covid-19 Business Advisory Task Force to help small businesses get through the hard economic time the pandemic brought to the entire country.

Murrillo worried a lot about the youth and gang activities. As a result, she created a Pro-Youth Movement that talked about gang activity and tried to find help for children who were more likely to get in trouble with these groups. These preventative measures likely saved lives.

Murrillo worked hard on improving the Santa Barbara area as a Democrat and did a wonderful job supporting the community members.

Mike Stoker

Mike StokerOpens in a new tab. was Santa Barbara County’s supervisor for a while. Mike Stoker was a very strong Republican and worked as former president Donald Trump’s West Coast Regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator.

Mike Stoker has come out and decided to run for the seat as a congressional leader in Santa Barbara, California. This is a large political movement for the area because Republicans like Mike Stoker do not usually get into the congressional representative seat, as Santa Barbara is a Liberal city.

Mike Stoker has a bit of a scandalous past, and he was fired from his position in the EPA because he no longer had President Trump’s support. The agency fired him on the grounds of him being a wasteful worker. He spent the majority of his time flying away from the main office in San Francisco and was not performing his duties well.

Former President Donald Trump liked Mike Stoker because he would always back the president’s ideas. Mike Stoker was an easy vote, so Donald Trump wanted to keep him in office.

Mike Stoker, as a result of being fired, is now in the process of filing a lawsuit against the EPA on the grounds of defamation of character. However, Mike Stoker needed a new political position to work in.

Being from Santa Barbara, Mike Stoker was interested in its politics and found out that there was a chance he could win in that area. This shows that there are people who vote for the Republican party in Santa Barbara. Mike StokerOpens in a new tab. is currently trying to become the next representative of the 37th District State Assembly, and the polls show that most people support Stoker over his opponent.

Coronavirus Pandemic

Santa Opens in a new tab.BarbaraOpens in a new tab., California was heavily affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Santa Barbara had to change some of its city policies to make the city a safer place for its citizens.

During the 2020 presidential election, Santa Barbara was forced to close down many of its polling stations and use mail-in ballots to collect votes. This prevented people from coming in and standing close to each other and spreading the deadly virus.

Santa Barbara also has pushed very hard to get its citizens access to the Covid-19 vaccines. They have many social campaigns letting their citizens where they can get vaccinated at. Santa Barbara also promotes children getting the vaccines and has a current campaign telling parents to get their children ages 5-and-under vaccinated so they can be safe from the virus.

About 27,900 children under the age of five live in Santa Barbara, California, and the local leaders want each and every one of them to be vaccinated. The more people are vaccinated, the quicker the death rate of the deadly Covid-19 virus will lower.

Santa Barbara, California also held onto their mask mandate longer than the rest of the country. As of June of 2022, they still had a mask mandate for unvaccinated people in indoor public places. Meanwhile, most of the world has stopped enforcing mask mandates, even in indoor spaces.


The people of Santa Barbara have also been very supportive of women’s rights to reproduce. Between 2,500 and 3,000 protesters gathered for Santa Barbara’s Women’s March for reproductive Rights in October of 2021. They wanted their voices to be heard after Texas created a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The people who participated were mothers, daughters, families with kids, activists, and college students, who all cared about the poor women in Texas who were having their rights taken away.

The protesters made a splash in the media. Many major newspapers recorded the event and let the entire world know that the women in Santa Barbara, California would not stand to have their reproductive rights infringed upon and that they deserve to be able to choose how to care for their own bodies.

As of August of 2022, abortion is legal in Santa Barbara, California, until the fetus is viableOpens in a new tab., so it is legal until the 23-24th week of pregnancy. However, this may change after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Overall, Santa Barbara, California is quite a liberal city, much like the rest of the state. However, if you choose to move to this city, you will likely be able to find people that have a political opinion that is similar to yours, no matter your political affiliation.

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