Is Santa Fe, New Mexico a Liberal City?

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Political leanings are becoming more important to our society and our daily lives. Many people rely on knowing whether their city is liberal or conservative so they know if the ideals of their neighbors match their own.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a moderately liberal city. The state of New Mexico is somewhat liberal, voting mostly Democratic since 1992. Santa Fe county is very liberal; in the 2020 presidential election, 76.0% of residents in Santa Fe county voted for the Democratic candidate.

Many things factor into the political climate of a city and what makes it mostly liberal or conservative. There are a lot of things to learn about the politics in Santa Fe, NM.

Presidential Elections

The political leanings of an area can generally be determined by the results of an election. The Democratic and Republican parties, the two major parties in the United States, represent liberal and conservative mindsets. The Democratic party is largely liberal. Most members of the Democratic party support liberal policies and identify as liberals. The Republican party is mostly conservative. Members of the Republican party tend to support conservative policies and identify as conservatives. The number of Democratic or Republican voters in a location can help determine the percentage of liberal or conservative voters.

The state of New MexicoOpens in a new tab. has gone back and forth between voting for the Democratic and Republican candidates since it joined the Union in 1912. However, the state has stabilized and has leaned to the liberal side of the spectrum since 1992. The state has voted for the Democratic candidate in 7 out of the last 8 elections. In 2004, George W. Bush won in New Mexico by 0.7%.

Interestingly, none of the Democratic wins in New Mexico have been by a landslide. The highest percentage of Democratic votes in the last 20 years was 56.9% in 2008, and the highest difference between the percent of Democratic and Republican votes was 15.1% that same year. The percentage has not risen above 55% in any other year since 2000.

In the 2020 electionOpens in a new tab., a higher number of counties had more Republican than Democratic voters, but the Democratic candidate still won New Mexico by almost 100,000 votes. 54.3% of the voters chose the Democratic candidate.

Though New Mexico has been consistently voting for Democratic candidates, this hasn’t been by very much. The percentage of people that vote for Democratic or Republican candidates have been very close, so the Democratic support in New Mexico is far from overwhelming.

This is hardly the case in Santa Fe County. Santa Fe CountyOpens in a new tab. is very liberal and has been consistent for some time. The percentage of Democratic votes in Santa Fe County has not dipped below 70% since the year 2000 when it was 64.7%. In the past twenty years, the percentage of Republican votes has not risen above 30%. In the 2020 election, 76.0% of voters in Santa Fe County voted Democratic, while only 22.3% voted Republican.

Santa Fe (the city) is considered moderately liberalOpens in a new tab.. Most of the residents tend to vote Democratic in elections. Residents of Santa Fe also often support liberal policies and ideals.

Local Leaders

Press interview. Broadcast journalism.


The mayor of Santa Fe, NM is Mayor Alan WebberOpens in a new tab.. He is the city’s 43rd mayor, elected in March 2018. About 66% of residents voted for him. His platform was to make Santa Fe user-friendly, eco-friendly, and family-friendly. For most of his life, he has had a career in business and journalism.

He has written up an action planOpens in a new tab. about what his time in office will be spent on: diversifying the economy, building affordable housing, fighting opioid addiction, and sustainability.

To diversify the economy, his plan of action has been to improve the appeal of tourism in the city to bring in more visitors and business. He also wanted to support both the historic downtown and two areas that are emerging as new downtowns by growing small businesses and startups. He said he would use his business experience to support youth and create opportunities for those that are starting businesses and joining industries so that they will stay in Santa Fe and build the economy. He also wanted to invest in high-speed Internet, reliable service, and a better airport to help businesses.

Mayer Alan Weber planned to build 1,400 housing units that have been approved. He wanted to increase options for rental housing, workforce housing, starter homes, and retirement homes. He also wanted to make it easier for housing projects to get government approval.

Webber planned to fully staff the police force to help with threats to public safety. He also wanted to develop a better approach to treating those with opioid addiction. He wanted a committee to choose a new Police Chief with historical and cultural values. He also wanted to improve emergency response services.

In regards to education, Webber planned to expand after-school programs for students. He also wanted more funds to be put toward early childhood education and daycare services.

Part of his plan about equity involved advocating for the rights of immigrants in Santa Fe. The plan also involved creating a Women’s Advisory Commission to promote gender equality and reduce violence against women. Webber also wanted to make Santa Fe more senior-friendly and support youth as well.

Webber also had some environmental goals. He wanted to ensure that 50% of the electricity was clean energy by 2025. He wanted to make all city facilities solar-powered by 2025. He wanted to support electric vehicles and replace city buses with clean energy buses. He also wanted to partner with companies in the private sector to help them become more energy-efficient.

Within city hall, Webber wanted to prevent fraud and the abuse of public funds. He also wanted to reduce red tape in getting help from city hall and helping within city hall.

Mayor Alan Webber’s second term in office recently started. It is unclear how much of this plan of action he was able to achieve during his first term. Though he is officially nonpartisan, many of his ideas and plans align with those of the Democratic party.

City Council

All eight of the city council members in Santa Fe are considered nonpartisan. There are five women and three men on the city council. Three of the city council members have been on the city council for two or more terms.


Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, Nowy Meksyk


The state of New Mexico does not have any major restrictions on abortionsOpens in a new tab., though there are few facilities that provide abortions available to residents. As of 2017, 91% of counties in New Mexico had no clinics that provided abortions.

Gun Laws

The gun lawsOpens in a new tab. in New Mexico are not very strict. It is an open carry state, so most adults can openly carry guns without a license. Licenses are required for concealed carrying.

Gay Marriage

Gay marriageOpens in a new tab. was made legal in New Mexico in 2013. It was the 17th state to legalize gay marriage.


The populationOpens in a new tab. of Santa Fe is 84,996 people with a population density of 1,629 per square mile. The city is more populated than most of the other cities nearby. 52.4% of residents are women and 47.6% of residents are men. The median age is 44.5 and there are an average of 2.2 people per household.

The racial makeupOpens in a new tab. of Santa Fe is as follows:

  • White: 40.0%
  • Black/African American: 0.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 54.7%
  • Asian: 1.3%
  • Native American: 1.5%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or More: 1.5%
  • Other: 0.2%

43.3% of residents are married, and 17.7% of residents are divorced. 23.6% of residents are married with children, and 20.1% of residents are single with children.

About 61.7% of residents in Santa Fe are religious. Of this percentage, most of them are Catholic; 29.3% of the population are Catholic. The next largest percentage is a tie between Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ at 1.6%, so the Catholic residents make up a very large chunk of the religious residents.

Political History

The United States won the Mexican-American War in 1848. They made the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which meant that Mexico had to give up its northern holdings. This included California, Texas, and New Mexico. The New Mexico Territory was created, which included most of Arizona and New Mexico and much of Nevada.

During the Civil War, the New Mexico Territory was split in half by the Confederate and Union forces. The Confederacy took the southern portion of the territory, while the Union kept the northern part.

New Mexico was eligible to become a state in the 1850s, but because the population was largely Mexican-Americans, the territory was denied statehood until January 6, 1912.

New Mexico was one of the states that had Jim Crow laws. Many Native Americans from New Mexico fought in the First and Second World Wars, but their voting rights were still restricted.

The first atomic bombs were designed and built in New Mexico during World War II. They were created in Los Alamos, an area specifically set aside for this kind of research and testing of weapons.

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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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