Is Stockton, California a Liberal City?

Politics are the source of a lot of controversies these days. Many people want to know that those around them have the same political beliefs that they do. If you live in Stockton, California, will your neighbors have liberal or conservative beliefs?

Stockton, California is a liberal city. The majority of residents voted for the Democratic candidate in 4 of the last 6 presidential elections. San Joaquin County, Stockton’s county, is a relatively liberal area, and the state of California is moderately liberal.

There are lots of factors to the political climate of a city. To figure out if Stockton is a liberal or conservative city, we need to consider the results of presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies, and the demographics.

Presidential Elections

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, are representative of the liberal and conservative perspectives. The Democratic party has mostly liberal members and supports liberal policies. The Republican party has mostly conservative members and supports conservative policies. If the majority of residents in a city vote for the Democratic candidate, the city is mostly liberal. If the majority of residents vote for the Republican candidate, the city is mostly conservative.

It is important to consider the candidate that won the election, but also how much they won by. In every election, a certain percentage of votes are for the Republican candidate and another percentage is for the Democratic candidate. The difference between those percentages is how much the winning candidate won by. If the difference is high, the candidate won by a lot 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.

The state of California is moderately liberalOpens in a new tab.. The Democratic candidate won in the state in every election since 2000. The differences between the percentages of Democratic and Republican votes were between 10% and 30% in every election but two: 2004 and 2016. In the 2004 election, the difference was the lowest during that time at 9.9%. In the 2016 election, the difference was 30.1% and was higher than it had been during that time.

In the 2020 election, 63.5% of the population of California voted for the Democratic candidate and 34.3% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages is 29.2%, which is the second highest after 2016.

San Joaquin County, the county in which Stockton is, is a relatively liberalOpens in a new tab. area. The city voted for the Democratic candidate in 4 of the last 6 elections. The difference between the percentages was between 5% and 15% in every election except for the 2000 election. The highest difference was 14.18% in 2016, and the lowest difference was 4.2% in 2000.

In the 2020 election, 55.16% of San Joaquin County residents voted for the Democratic candidate and 41.79% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference was 13.82%, which is the second highest after 2016.

Stockton, like San Joaquin County and the state of California, is a liberal cityOpens in a new tab.. In 2000 and 2004, the city voted for the Republican candidate, but in every other election, the city voted for the Democratic candidate. The difference between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes was higher than 10% in every election except for the 2000 and 2004 elections. The percentages and differences are comparable to those of San Joaquin County.

From 2018 to 2021, there were 17,997 contributions to the Democratic party in Stockton, which added up to $1,079,519. There were 5,408 contributions to the Republican party, totaling $2,039,878. Though there were over 3 times more contributions to the Democratic party, the Republican party received almost twice as much money. This is because the donations to the Republican party were about 6 times larger on average than those to the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

The local leaders of a city represent the political climate of that city. The local leaders were elected by the residents of the city based on their beliefs and promises. A leader who makes promises consistent with a liberal perspective will be likely to be elected in a liberal city, and a leader who makes conservative promises will probably be elected in a conservative city. Looking at the enacted policies, campaign platforms, and party affiliations of the local leaders of Stockton will help us know if it is liberal or conservative.


The mayor of Stockton is a very important elected official. The mayor represents the city in state, national, and international matters. The mayor is also a member of the city council and leads the meetings of the city council and city ceremonies.

The current mayor of Stockton is Kevin Lincoln IIOpens in a new tab.. He was elected in 2021 and will serve in his current term until 2024. He came in second in the nonpartisan primary election with 21.6% of the vote, losing by 10,089 votes. However, he won the general election with 56.4% of the vote and 13,070 votes more than his opponent, who originally beat him in the primary.

Mayor Lincoln has focused his time in office on solving homelessness, improving public safety and the relationships between law enforcement and the community, engaging citizens in the government, and developing a more stable economy.

Mayoral elections in Stockton are considered nonpartisan, so technically, Mayor Lincoln is not a member of a political party. However, he has been known to be affiliated with the Republican party. The initiatives that he has focused on during his time as mayor also suggest that he is of a more conservative mindset.

City Council

The City Council of StocktonOpens in a new tab. is a board of elected leaders who act as the legislative body of the city. The city council approves the budget, imposes taxes, and creates or changes city laws. There are 7 members of the city council, including the mayor. The mayor is elected by the whole city, but the other 6 members are each elected by one of the city’s 6 districts.

The city council’s goals include addressing homelessness, crime reduction, forming relationships with private companies, improving education, and engaging the community.

The city council elections are nonpartisan, so the city council members are nonpartisan. However, the goals that the city council has taken on suggest that the majority of the city council is of a conservative mindset.


The policies that the residents of a city support are another indicator of the political climate. There are certain policies that 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 more likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.


Abortions in California must be performed before 24 weeksOpens in a new tab. of pregnancy unless the patient’s life is in danger. This is the only abortion restriction in place in the state. Counseling and an ultrasound are not required before an abortion is performed, even though it is often required in many other states. Private insurance policies, insurance policies for public employees, health plans, and public funding can legally cover abortions. The parents of a minor do not need to consent 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 do not have clinics, leaving 3% of women without access to an abortion clinic.

Stockton residents tend to support the low number of abortion laws that are in place in the state, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.

Gun Control Laws

California has the strongest gun laws in the country. The state had the 7th lowest gun death rate and the 5th lowest crime gun export rate in 2020. California gun laws include universal background checks, domestic violence gun laws, assault weapon and large capacity magazine restrictions, waiting periods, concealed and open carry regulations, minimum age laws, safe storage laws, lost/stolen gun reporting, a ghost gun ban, gun dealer regulations, and firearm sales record retention.

Stockton residents tend to support the high number of abortion laws in the state, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.

Same-Sex Marriage

California legalized same-sex marriage on June 28, 2013Opens in a new tab., and was the 10th state to do so. This was 2 years before the Supreme Court mandate was passed requiring all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Stockton residents supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is consistent with a liberal perspective.


The populationOpens in a new tab. of Stockton is about 312,716 people. The population density is about 5,069 people per square mile. 51.1% of the population is female and 48.9% is male. The median age is 31.2 and the average number of people per household is 3.2.

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

  • White: 21.2%
  • Black: 11.1%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 42.2%
  • Asian: 21.2%
  • Native American: 0.2%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.7%
  • Two or More Races: 3.3%
  • Other: 0.1%

The average incomeOpens in a new tab. in Stockton is $19,927 per year. The median household income is $45,347 per year. The unemployment rate is 10.3%.

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.

Recent Posts