Is Tampa, Florida a Liberal City?

Politics are becoming more and more important in today’s society. Politics is also a source of a lot of conflict and controversy, and many people want to know that those around them have similar political beliefs to them. Are your neighbors in Tampa, Florida more likely to be liberal or conservative?

Tampa, Florida is a fairly liberal city. The majority of residents voted for the Democratic candidate in four of the last six presidential elections. Hillsborough County, Tampa’s county, is also fairly liberal, and Florida is a swing state that leans conservative rather than liberal.

Many factors contribute to the political climate of a city, and it is important to consider all of them. Looking at the presidential election results, the local leader, the policies that are supported, and the demographics of Tampa can give us a good idea of the political leanings.

Presidential Elections

The results of presidential elections in a city are a big indicator of its political climate. The two major political parties in the United States represent the liberal and conservative perspectives. The Democratic party has mostly liberal members and supports liberal policies, so if the majority of residents vote for the Democratic candidate, the city is probably liberal. The Republican party has conservative members and supports conservative policies, so if the Republican candidate gets the most votes, the city is likely conservative.

It is important to consider not only which candidate won in the city, but also by how much of a majority they won. The difference between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes can show if there was a significantly higher number of people that supported the winning candidate or if the support for the candidate is roughly equal and could be swayed more easily. The higher the difference between the percentages of Democratic and Republican votes, the more people that support the winning party and the fewer that support the losing party.

Florida is a swing stateOpens in a new tab.. Most states can be counted on to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate consistently and with overwhelming numbers. However, swing states can go either way, though most tend to lean one way or the other, the percentage difference is low enough that the tide could easily turn and the other side could win. The nationwide results of the presidential election usually come down to the swing states.

Florida is a swing state that leans conservative. In four of the last six elections, the state voted for the Republican candidate, only voting for the Democratic candidate in 2008 and 2012. In each of those elections, the difference between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes was 5% or below. The highest difference was 5% in 2004, and the lowest was 0.1% in 2000.

In the 2020 presidential election, 51.2% of Florida residents voted for the Republican candidate and 47.9% voted for the Democratic candidate. The difference between the percentages was 3.3%, the second highest after 2004.

Hillsborough County, the county in which Tampa is, is a fairly liberal areaOpens in a new tab.. The Republican candidate won in 2000 and 2004, but the Democratic candidate has won in every election since then. The differences between the percentages were between 5% and 10% in every election except for 2000 when the difference was less than 5%. The highest difference was 7.11% in 2008, and the lowest difference was 3.11% in 2000.

In the 2020 presidential election, 52.71% of the Hillsborough County residents voted for the Democratic candidate, and 45.85% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference was 6.86%, the highest one after 2008.

Tampa, like Hillsborough County and unlike the state of Florida, is a fairly liberal cityOpens in a new tab.. In four of the last six presidential elections, the city voted for the Democratic candidate. In every election during that time period, the difference between the percentages was less than 10%. This means that the city tends to vote liberal in recent years, but that it is fairly evenly balanced. The percentages and differences are comparable to those of Hillsborough County.

From 2018 to 2021, there were 28,459 contributions to the Democratic party in Tampa. This added up to $4,653,600. In contrast, there were only 8,178 contributions to the Republican party, totaling $10,559,273. Though there were over 3 times more contributions to the Democratic party than to the Republican party, the Republican party brought in more money during the time period. This is because the donations to the Republican party were about 8 times larger on average than those to the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

Colorful shelter in Tampa riverwalk at night. Florida, USA

The local leaders in a city are a good representation of the city’s political climate. These are people the general populace has elected to represent based on their promises and political achievements. We can have a window into the political climate of Tampa by looking at the campaign platforms, political affiliations, and enacted policies of its local leaders.


The mayor of Tampa is responsible for creating a budget, signing laws, appointing certain government employees, and overseeing the operations of the city. The mayor represents the city in larger matters; they are sort of like the face of the city.

The current mayor of Tampa is Jane CastorOpens in a new tab.. She was elected in 2019, and her current term lasts until 2023. In the general election, she had 48% of the vote. In the runoff election, she won with 73.1% of the vote. The people of Tampa were clearly supportive of her and agreed with her ideas and campaign platform.

Mayor Castor’s goals in office have been strengthening community services, workforce development, housing affordability, infrastructure, and sustainability. All of her initiatives in office have been to support these goals.

Mayoral elections in Tampa are nonpartisan, so technically Mayor Castor is not a member of a political party. However, she has been known to be affiliated with the Democratic party. Her goals and initiatives support the idea that she is of a primarily liberal mindset.

City Council

The Tampa City CouncilOpens in a new tab. has the responsibility of adopting the budget, imposing taxes, and creating or changing city laws. There are seven city council members. Three of them are elected by the city as a whole, and the other four are each elected by one of the city’s districts.

The current members of the City Council are nonpartisan, but their achievements and goals suggest that the majority have a liberal perspective and are affiliated with the Democratic party.


The policies that the residents of the city support or oppose being in place are another factor to consider in the political climate. There are certain policies that are likely to be supported or opposed by either liberals or conservatives. Fewer abortion laws, more gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage are all likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.


Abortions in Florida must be performed 24 weeksOpens in a new tab. after the last menstrual cycle unless there is the potential for life endangerment. Patients must receive counseling and an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion can be performed. Health plans and public funding can’t cover abortions unless there is life endangerment, rape, or incest involved. Parents of a minor must consent before an abortion can be performed.

In 2017, there were 85 facilities providing abortions in Florida, 65 of which were clinics. 73% of counties in Florida don’t have an abortion clinic, leaving 24% of women without access to a clinic.

Tampa residents are generally split on whether there should be more or fewer abortion laws.

Gun Control Laws

Florida had the 29th highest gun death rate in 2020 and the 17th lowest crime gun export rate. Florida gun laws includeOpens in a new tab. minimum age laws, waiting periods, open carry regulations, child access prevention laws, and state background checks. Florida gun laws don’t include universal background checks, gun owner licensing, domestic violence laws, assault weapon and large capacity magazine restrictions, concealed carry regulations, and lost/stolen reporting.

Tampa residents are also pretty evenly split on increasing or decreasing gun laws.

Same-Sex Marriage

Florida legalized same-sex marriage on January 6, 2015Opens in a new tab., and it was the 36th state to do so. This was about 5 months before the Supreme Court mandate required all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Tampa residents tended to support the legalization of same-sex marriage.


The view of calm early morning in Tampa city (Florida).

The populationOpens in a new tab. of Tampa is about 407,599 people. The population density is 3,575 people per square mile. 51.7% of residents are female and 48.3% are male. The median age is 34.8 and the average number of people per household is 2.4.

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

  • White: 45.0%
  • Black: 22.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 25.1%
  • Asian: 4.2%
  • Native American: 0.2%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or More Races: 2.2%
  • Other: 0.3%

The average incomeOpens in a new tab. in Tampa is $29,704 per year. The median household income is $43,740 per year. The unemployment rate is 5.0%.

87.1%Opens in a new tab. of Tampa residents have graduated from high school and 16.8% are only high school graduates. 22.1% have two-year degrees, 36.2% have four-year degrees, 3.4% have master’s degrees, and 1.5% have professional degrees.

40.7%Opens in a new tab. of residents are religious. 37.3% of residents are Christian, 0.6% are Jewish, 1.1% are of eastern faith, and 1.7% are affiliated with Islam.

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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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