Is Tallahassee, Florida a Liberal City?

Politics are a big part of our interactions with other people, our leadership, and even our fundamental beliefs. For many people, it is important that the people who live around them have the same political beliefs as them.

Tallahassee, FL is a moderately liberal city. Florida is a swing state, which has had four wins for the Republican candidate and two wins for the Democratic candidate between 2000 and 2020. Tallahassee’s county, Leon County, is very liberal; 63.3% of residents voted Democratic in the 2020 election.

There are a lot of factors to the political climate of a city, such as the voting, local leaders, policies, and demographics. All of these factors must be considered before deciding that Tallahassee is a liberal city.

Presidential Elections

The results of the presidential election in a city can help us figure out if that city is liberal or conservative. The two political parties in the United States represent the liberal and conservative points of view.

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, it can be assumed that the city is mostly liberal. If most of the people vote for the Republican candidate, then the city is mostly conservative.

The presidential elections in the state of Florida are more complicated than in most other states. Most states can be counted on to vote mostly for either the Republican or Democratic party. The electoral college vote for most states can be figured out ahead of time.

Florida is a swing stateOpens in a new tab., so the population is not overwhelmingly conservative or liberal. Cities and counties within Florida can be counted on to vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate, but the state itself can go either way. Swing states tend to be the biggest deciding factor for the winner of the presidential election.

Between 2000 and 2020, Florida has voted for the Democratic candidate twice and the Republican candidate four times. States that are not swing states tend to have stabilized and have voted for the same party in every election over that 20-year period.

Florida has voted more for the Republican candidate, but the political party choice has not stabilized. The differences between the percentages of Republican and Democratic voters are also very low. The lowest difference was 0.1% in 2000, and the highest was 5% in 2004.

In the 2020 election, 51.2% of the population voted for the Republican candidate, and 47.9% voted for the Democratic candidate, with a difference of 3.3%.

Leon County is a strong liberalOpens in a new tab. county. The percentages of Democratic voters between 2000 and 2020 were between 59% and 65%. The lowest was 59.58% in 2000 and the highest was 63.32% in 2020. The percentage of residents that voted for the Republican candidate was consistently less than 40% during that time period. The lowest was 34.98% in 2016, and the highest was 37.89% in 2000. In the 2020 election, 63.3% of residents voted for the Democratic candidate and 35.1% voted for the Republican candidate.

Tallahassee is a moderately liberalOpens in a new tab. city in Florida. Between 2000 and 2020, the majority of residents voted for the Democratic candidate in all six elections, with a percentage difference of over 10%. Between 2018 and 2021, there were 85,863 contributions to the Democratic party, totaling $13,241,044.

In that same time period, there were 16,621 contributions to the Republican party in Tallahassee, totaling $12,274,116. The average amount in each donation was about five times larger for those donating to the Republican party than the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

The local elected leaders of a city represent the political affiliations in the city, whether because of their political party or the policies they support.


The mayor of Tallahassee is John DaileyOpens in a new tab.. He was elected in 2018 for a four-year term which will end in November of 2022.

Dailey has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration and another in Urban and Regional Planning. He has been in government for most of his career, working for the Florida League of Cities, then serving on the Leon County Commission in 2006 for two terms, and was elected as the chairman twice.

Dailey appointed liaisons in the police and fire departments. He also set up the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council in 2020. This committee was set up to provide support for LGBTQ+ members of the community and to draw attention to LGBTQ+ concerns in city hall. Dailey has also supported other policiesOpens in a new tab. involving the LGBTQ+ community, such as the Conversion Therapy Ban, the City Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance, and the City’s Youth Bullying Prevention Policy.

The mayoral elections in Tallahassee are nonpartisan, so Dailey is not technically a member of either the Democratic or Republican parties. However, Dailey’s support for the LGBTQ+ community and his other policies most closely suggest an affiliation with the Democratic party.

City Commission

The City Commission of Tallahassee has five members, including the mayor. The other four seats are filled by two men and two women.


Certain policies are more supported by those with a liberal point of view, and others are more supported by those with a conservative point of view. Liberals tend to support abortion, increased gun control, and gay marriage.


The Florida abortion lawsOpens in a new tab. require that abortions be performed 24 weeks after the last menstrual period unless there is potential life or health endangerment. Public funding and health plans are not available for abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. Patients must also receive state-directed counseling that is designed to keep them from getting an abortion, and the patient must get an ultrasound before the abortion may be provided.

In 2017, there were 85 facilities providing abortions, 65 of which are clinics. This is an 8% decrease from 2014. 73% of Florida counties do not have clinics, leaving 24% of women in Florida without access to an abortion clinic.

Gun Laws

Florida had the 29th highest gun death rate in the United States in 2020. Florida gun lawsOpens in a new tab. include minimum age laws, waiting periods, open carry regulations, child access prevention laws, and state database background checks. Florida does not have universal background checks, gun owner licensing, assault weapon restriction, a large-capacity magazine ban, a strong concealed carry law, or a lost and stolen firearm reporting system.

Gay Marriage

Florida legalized same-sex marriage on January 6, 2015Opens in a new tab., about 6 months before the Supreme Court required every state to legalize gay marriage. Florida was the 36th state to legalize same-sex marriage.


The demographics of a city can be very influential on whether or not a city is mostly liberal or conservative.

The populationOpens in a new tab. of Tallahassee is 196,326 people. The population density is 1,955 people per square mile. 52.7% of the population is female, and 47.3% of the population is male. The average age is 26.2, and the average number of people per household is 2.3.

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

  • White: 51.6%
  • Black: 34.7%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 6.8%
  • Asian: 4.1%
  • Native American: 0.1%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • Two or More Races: 2.3%
  • Other: 0.3%

30.9% of the population of Tallahassee are marriedOpens in a new tab., and 9.6% of the population are divorced. 27.0% of residents are married with children, and 22.8% are single with children.

The average income in Tallahassee is $23,942 per year. The average household income is $39,407 per year. The unemployment rate is 5.1%.

The percentage of high school graduates in Tallahassee is 93.3%. 19.2% of residents are only high school graduates. 48% have four-year degrees.

48.2% of the population of Tallahassee is religious. 45.6% of residents are Christian. 0.5% of residents believe in Judaism. 0.7% of residents are members of eastern religions, and 1.2% of residents affiliate with Islam.

Tallahassee has a high population of non-white residents, a low average age, and a high college graduation rate. All of these are factors in the largely liberal mindset of residents of the city.

Political History

The city of Tallahassee was founded in 1821 after Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain.

Tallahassee played a big role in the Civil Rights movementOpens in a new tab. in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1956, the city had a bus boycott to protest the segregation on city buses. In 1960, there was a sit-in at a Woolworths; 11 students were arrested, eight of which chose to go to jail instead of paying a fine, which became known as the Tallahassee Jail-In.

In 1961, a group called the Tallahassee Ten took a trip from Washington DC to Tallahassee to protest segregated interstate buses. Though they arrived in Tallahassee, they were arrested at the airport when trying to return home. In 1963, there were protests at a theater, which was the site of over 350 arrests.

The state of FloridaOpens in a new tab. was solidly Democratic from 1880 to 1948. It then leaned toward the Republican party for a while before becoming a swing state.

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Ashley Wadas

A little bit about me: I'm Ashley, I studied English in college which meant writing a lot! I wouldn't say writing is my favorite thing to do, but I do like writing about places I've lived. I enjoy reading and word puzzles. :)

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