Is Virginia Beach, Virginia a Liberal City?

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Politics is a source of a lot of controversies, and many people want to live somewhere where the people around them have the same political beliefs as them. Is Virginia Beach, Virginia a mostly liberal or conservative city?

Virginia Beach, Virginia is not a liberal city but is relatively conservative. The city voted for the Republican candidate in five of the last six presidential elections. Virginia Beach County is also relatively conservative, and Virginia is a swing state that leans liberal.

There are a lot of factors involved in the political climate of a city. To figure out the political climate of Virginia Beach, we need to look at the results of the presidential elections, the local leaders, the policies that are supported, and the demographics.

Presidential Elections

The results of presidential elections in a city are a big indicator of whether that city is liberal or conservative. There are two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic party and the Republican party, and they 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, that city is mostly liberal. If the majority of residents vote for the Republican candidate, that city is mostly conservative.

It is important to consider the winner of the election, but it is also important to look at how much they won. In every election, a percentage of voters vote for the Democratic candidate, and a percentage vote for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages shows how much the winning candidate won. If the difference is high, the city is solidly liberal or conservative. If the difference is low, the city is close to being evenly split.

Virginia is a swing stateOpens in a new tab.. Most states can be counted on to vote either Democratic or Republican, but swing states can go either way because they are close to being evenly split. Most swing states lean liberal or conservative, but they are still close enough that they can still go the other way. The final results of presidential elections tend to come down to the swing states.

Virginia is a swing state that leans liberal. Since 2000, the Democratic candidate has won in four of the six elections. The difference between the percentages was less than 10% in every election except for 2020. The highest difference was 10.1% in 2020, and the lowest difference was 3.9% in 2012.

In the 2020 election, 54.1% of residents in Virginia voted for the Democratic candidate, and 44.0% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages was 10.1%, the highest it has been since 2000.

Virginia Beach County, the county that Virginia Beach is in, is a relatively conservativeOpens in a new tab. area. The Republican candidate has won in the county in every presidential election except one since 2000. The Democratic candidate won in the 2020 presidential election, but the Republican candidate won every other year. In 2000 and 2004, the differences between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes were higher than 14%. Every other year, the difference was less than 6%. The highest difference was 18.84% in 2004, and the lowest difference was 0.71% in 2008.

In the 2020 presidential election, 51.59% of the Virginia Beach County residents voted for the Democratic candidate, while 46.18% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages was 5.41%, which was the third highest after 2004 and 2000.

Virginia Beach, like the county and unlike the state of Virginia, is a relatively conservativeOpens in a new tab. city. The city voted for the Republican candidate in every election except for the 2020 election. The difference between the percentage of Republican and Democratic votes was higher than 10% in 2000 and 2004, and it was lower than 10% in every other election. The percentages and differences were comparable to those of Virginia Beach County.

From 2018 to 2021, there were 12,437 contributions to the Democratic party, which added up to $2,660,229. There were 6,526 contributions to the Republican party totaling $2,819,141. There were twice as many contributions to the Democratic party but there was more money contributed to the Republican party. This is because the donations to the Republican party were about 2 times higher on average than those to the Democratic party.

Local Leaders

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier and Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

The local leaders of a city represent the political climate of the city. They were elected by the majority of the people because of their beliefs and promises. Looking at the party affiliations, enacted policies, and campaign platforms of the local leaders of Virginia Beach can give us an idea of the political beliefs of local leaders.


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

The current mayor of Virginia Beach is Bob DyerOpens in a new tab.. He was elected in 2018 and reelected in 2020. His current term will end in 2024. He won the general election in 2018 with 51.8% of the vote. He had 6,508 more votes than the second-place candidate. In the 2020 election, he was reelected with 51.6% of the vote. He had 17,167 more votes than the candidate that was in 2nd place.

Mayor Dyer has focused his time in office on tax relief for the elderly and disabled, alternative energy, and support for veterans.

Mayoral elections in Virginia Beach are nonpartisan, so Mayor Dyer is technically not a member of a political party. However, he has been known to be affiliated with the Republican party. The focus of his office and campaign also supports the assertion that he is of a conservative mindset.

City Council

The City Council of Virginia BeachOpens in a new tab. is a board of elected officials that is the main legislative body in the city. The city council adopts the budget, imposes taxes, and creates or changes laws. There are 11 city council members including the mayor. Three of the city councilors and the mayor are elected by the whole city. The other seven city councilors are each elected by one of the districts of the city. City councilors serve for four terms and the elections are staggered.

The city councilors are all considered nonpartisan, but the policies enacted by the current city council all support the idea that the majority of the city council is conservative.


The policies that residents support in a city are another indicator of the political climate. There are certain policies that are likely to be supported or opposed by liberals or conservatives. Liberal people typically support fewer abortion restrictions, more gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage, while conservative people support the opposite.


Abortions in Virginia must be performed before the third trimesterOpens in a new tab. of pregnancy unless the patient’s life or health is in danger. Public funding and insurance policies for public employees can’t cover abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. The parents of a minor need to consent before an abortion is provided to that minor. Virginia law doesn’t require any counseling or ultrasounds before abortions.

In 2017, there were 32 facilities providing abortions in Virginia, 16 of which were clinics. This was an 11% decline from 2014. 93% of Virginia counties do not have clinics providing abortions, leaving 80% of women in Virginia without access to abortions.

Virginia Beach residents tend to want an increase in abortion laws. This is consistent with a conservative perspective.

Gun Control Laws

Virginia had the 17th lowest gun death rate and the 10th highest crime gun export rate in 2020. Virginia gun control lawsOpens in a new tab. include:

  • Universal background checks
  • Domestic violence laws
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Child access prevention laws
  • Lost/stolen firearm reporting
  • State database background checks
  • Gun dealer regulations

Virginia gun laws don’t include gun owner licensing, a large capacity magazine ban, waiting periods, concealed and open carry regulations, bulk firearm purchasing restrictions, and ammunition regulations.

Virginia Beach residents tend to support a decrease in gun control laws. This is consistent with a conservative perspective.

Same-Sex Marriage

Virginia legalized same-sex marriage on October 6, 2014, and was the 20th state to do so, tied with Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin. This was about eight months before the Supreme Court mandate was passed requiring all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Virginia Beach residents tended to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.


Sunrise view next to the 14th st. fishing pier located in beautiful Virginia Beach, Va.

The populationOpens in a new tab. of Virginia Beach is about 451,231 people. The population density is about 1,844 people per square mile. 50.8% of residents are female and 49.2% are male. The median age is 34.9, and the average number of people per household is 2.6.

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

  • White: 62.5%
  • Black: 18.4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 7.8%
  • Asian: 6.5%
  • Native American: 0.2%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or More Races: 4.4%
  • Other: 0.2%

The average incomeOpens in a new tab. in Virginia Beach is $32,477 per year. The median household income is $67,001 per year. The unemployment rate is 4.8%.

93.4%Opens in a new tab. of residents are high school graduates and 26.1% are only high school graduates. 22.7% of residents have two-year degrees, 34.8% have four-year degrees, 2% have master’s degrees, and 1% have professional degrees.

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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