Is Tacoma, Washington a Liberal City?

Tacoma, Washington, USA skyline at night.

Politics have become important in our society; people are expressing their political opinions all across the internet, other types of media, and regular conversation. Many people want to live in a place where their political opinions are shared by those around them. Is Tacoma, Washington a largely liberal or conservative city?

Tacoma, Washington is a moderately liberal city. The city has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 2000. Pierce County and Washington state are also moderately liberal, as both areas have voted for the Democratic candidate in those same elections.

There are many factors to the political climate in Tacoma. We need to consider the results of the presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies that the residents support, and the demographics before deciding whether Tacoma is liberal or conservative.

Presidential Elections

The state of Washington is moderately liberalOpens in a new tab., including the city of Tacoma. The majority of residents in the state voted for the Democratic candidate in every election from 2000 to 2020. The state has been mostly Democratic since 1988. The difference between the percentage of Democratic votes and Republican votes was higher than 10% after 2008. The lowest difference was 5.6% in 2000 and the highest was 19.2% in 2020.

In the 2020 election, 58.0% of Washington residents voted for the Democratic candidate and 38.8% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages was 19.2%, which is the highest it has been in those 20 years.

Pierce County, the county in which Tacoma is, is also moderately liberalOpens in a new tab.. The residents voted for the Democratic candidate in all six of those same elections. The differences between the percentages of Democratic and Republican candidates were higher than 10% about half the time. The lowest difference was 2.38% in 2004, and the highest difference was 12.12% in 2008.

In the 2020 election, 53.76% of Pierce County residents voted for the Democratic candidate, while 42.61% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference that year was 11.15%, which was the second highest after 2008. The percentage of Democratic votes was the third highest after 2008 and 2012. The percentage of Republican votes was the second lowest after 2016.

Tacoma, just like its county and state, is moderately liberalOpens in a new tab.. The city voted for the Democratic candidate in every election from 2000 to 2020. The differences between the percentages of Democratic and Republican votes were higher than 10% in 2008, 2012, and 2020. The percentages and differences between percentages are comparable to those of Pierce County. The city, county, and state are all fairly consistent with one another when it comes to voting.

From 2018 to 2021, there were 23,297 contributions to the Democratic party; these totaled, $4,270,253. In contrast, there were 4,408 contributions to the Republican party in that same time frame. These added up to $992,261. The contributions to the Republican party were slightly higher on average than those to the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

A view of the Port of Tacoma with Mount Rainier in the distance.

The local leaders in a city are usually representative of the residents’ political interests. A candidate for mayor, city council, or another elected position is more likely to be elected in a liberal city if they have liberal interests. Looking at the political affiliations, campaign platforms, and enacted policies of the local leaders that have been elected can give us an idea of whether a city is liberal or conservative.


The mayor of Tacoma is one of the most important elected officials. The mayor’s job is to propose a budget, sign legislation into law, appoint certain government employees, oversee the operations of the city, and represent the city in state, national, and international matters.

The current mayor of Tacoma is Victoria WoodardsOpens in a new tab.. She was first elected in 2018 and is serving her second term. Before becoming mayor, she was also on the city council for seven years. During that time she established the Office of Equity and Human Rights and launched the Equity and Empowerment Initiative. She worked started the Project PEACE Initiative, which helped establish connections between the Tacoma Police Department and the civilians in the city.

During her time in office, she has worked on making housing more affordable, improving transportation, increasing public safety, growing local businesses, and creating jobs. She has also expressed support for immigrants and refugees.

The policies that Mayor Woodards supports are consistent with a liberal perspective. She has also been involved in organizations that suggest a Democratic affiliation.

City Council

The Tacoma City Council is responsible for creating or changing city laws, adopting the budget, and creating boards and committees.

The Tacoma City CouncilOpens in a new tab. has nine members including the mayor. Three of the remaining eight are elected at large and five are each elected by one of the five districts in Tacoma. They each serve four terms. The city council elections are nonpartisan, so none of the candidates are officially part of either political party. However, the majority of city councilors are affiliated with the Democratic party or evidently have liberal perspectives.


The policies that are in place in an area or that the area supports can be very indicative of the political leanings of that area. There are certain policies that are more likely to be supported or opposed by liberals or conservatives. Legal abortion increased gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage is more likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.


Washington has few abortion lawsOpens in a new tab. in place. An abortion must be performed before the viability of the fetus except when the patient’s life is in danger. Other states require that a patient receive counseling or an ultrasound beforehand, or they don’t allow public funding or health plans to cover abortions. However, Washington state does not have any of these restrictions.

As of 2017, there were 51 facilities that provide abortions in Washington, 40 of which were clinics. This is a 21% increase from 2014. 59% of Washington counties do not have an abortion clinic, leaving 10% of women without access to an abortion clinic.

Residents of Tacoma tend to support the low number of abortion laws in Washington that allow women access to abortions.

Gun Control Laws

Washington had the 12th lowest gun death rate in 2020 and the 14th lowest crime gun export rate. Washington gun lawsOpens in a new tab. include universal background checks, minimum age laws, domestic violence gun laws, assault weapon restrictions, some waiting periods, child access prevention laws, a background check period, and ghost gun laws.

Washington gun laws do not include gun owner licensing, a large capacity magazine ban, open or concealed carry regulations, bulk firearm purchasing restrictions, reporting lost and stolen guns, safe storage laws, or design safety standards for handguns.

Tacoma residents tend to support an increase in gun control laws, which would make it more difficult to get access to guns.

Same-Sex Marriage

Washington made same-sex marriage legal on December 9, 2012Opens in a new tab.. This was about 2 and a half years before the Supreme Court mandate was passed requiring all states to legalize gay marriage. Washington was the seventh state to legalize gay marriage, and most of Tacoma’s residents supported this decision.


Population demographics report, pie chart composed of people. Vector illustration

The populationOpens in a new tab. of Tacoma is about 219,945 people. The population density is 4,424 people per square mile. 50.3% of the population is female and 49.7% is male. The median age is 35.7 years, and the median number of people in each household is 2.5.

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

  • White: 60.3%
  • Black: 9.7%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 11.6%
  • Asian: 8.7%
  • Native American: 1.1%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1.2%
  • Two or More Races: 7.1%
  • Other: 0.3%

44.4%Opens in a new tab. of Tacoma residents are married and 15.2% are divorced. 29.0% are married with children and 20.9% are single with children.

The average incomeOpens in a new tab. in Tacoma is about $26,805 per year, and the median household income is $51,269 per year. The unemployment rate is 7.3%. The sales tax rate is 10.1%, and there is no income tax.

88.1%Opens in a new tab. of Tacoma residents are high school graduates, but 25.3% are only high school graduates. 17.8% have two-year degrees, 27.6% have four-year degrees, 1.9% have master’s degrees, and 1.1% have professional degrees.

35.8%Opens in a new tab. of Tacoma residents are religious. 33.8% are Christian, 0.1% are Jewish, 1.7% are of eastern faith, and 0.1% are affiliated with Islam.

The rate of violent crimeOpens in a new tab. in Tacoma on a scale of 1 to 100 is 43.3. The rate of property crime on that same scale is 85.2. These are both significantly higher than the national averages (22.7 in violent crime and 35.4 in property crime).

Overall, Tacoma, Washington is moderately liberal. This is unlikely to change in the near future. However, because it is moderately liberal rather than strongly liberal, you will likely be able to find people with the same political opinions as you, no matter what your political party is.

Most Tacoma, Washington residents are very accepting of people that have different political opinions than them, so you likely won’t have issues fitting in and finding friends. Tacoma, Washington is a relatively politically diverse city, which is an aspect that many people find appealing.

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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