Politics are becoming more and more important in society, but they are also a source of great controversy. A lot of people want to know that the people around them have the same political beliefs. Are the residents of Wichita, Kansas more likely to be liberal or conservative?
Wichita, KS is moderately conservative. The majority of residents in the city voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 2000. Sedgwick County, Wichita’s county, and the state of Kansas are also both moderately conservative.
There are a lot of factors to the political climate of a city. To decide if Wichita is liberal or conservative, we need to consider the results of the presidential election, local leaders, policies, and demographics.
The results of presidential elections in a city are a big indicator of the political climate of that city. The two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic party and the Republican party, represent the liberal and conservative perspectives.
The Democratic party has mostly liberal members and supports liberal policies, so if the majority of city residents vote for the Democratic candidate, the city is mostly liberal. The Republican party has mostly conservative members and supports conservative policies, so the city is mostly conservative if most of the residents vote for the Republican candidate.
The winner of the election is important to consider, but so is how much they won. The difference between the percentages of votes that were Democratic and those that were Republican are important to consider. The higher the difference, the more the winning candidate won, meaning that the city is firmly conservative or liberal. If the difference is low, the city is closer to being evenly split and is less conservative or liberal.
Kansas is moderately conservative. The Republican candidate won in the state in every election since 2000. The difference between the percentage of Democratic and Republican votes was between 10% and 25% every year. The lowest difference was 14.6% in 2020, and the highest difference was 25.4% in 2004. The high differences between percentages mean that Kansas is firmly conservative and likely won’t shift loyalties anytime soon.
In the 2020 election, 56.2% of Kansas residents voted for the Republican candidate and 41.6% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages was 14.6%, which was the lowest it had been since 2000.
Sedgwick County, the county in which Wichita is, is also moderately conservative. The Republican candidate has won in Sedgwick County in every election from 2000 to 2020. Except in 2004, the difference between the percentage of Republican and Democratic votes was between 10% and 20%; in 2004, it was 25.63%, the highest it got during that time period. The lowest difference was 11.8% in 2020. The high percentage difference means that Sedgwick County is very solidly conservative.
In the 2020 election, 54.44% of Sedgwick County residents voted for the Republican candidate, and 42.64% voted for the Republican candidate. The difference between the percentages was 11.8%, the lowest it had been since 2000.
Wichita, like Sedgwick County and Kansas State, is moderately conservative. The city voted for the Republican candidate in every election since 2000. The difference between the percentages was higher than 10% in every single election. The percentages and differences are comparable to those of Sedgwick County.
From 2018 to 2021, there were 12,773 contributions to the Democratic party in Wichita, totaling $1,137,534. There were 5,426 contributions to the Republican party, totaling $5,971,581. Though there were more than twice as many contributions to the Democratic party, the Republican party received more money; the donations to the Republican party were, on average, about 12 times higher than those to the Democratic party.
Though there were more contributions to the Democratic party, Wichita is still firmly conservative based on the voting. The Democratic party members just seem to be more willing to contribute money, though the Republican party members were willing to contribute more money on average.
The local leaders of a city are representative of the political climate. These are the candidates that the people voted to represent them based on their political affiliations and promises. Looking at the party affiliations, the policies enacted, and the campaign platforms of the local leaders of Wichita can help us to know whether the city is liberal or conservative.
The mayor of Wichita is responsible for representing the city in state, national, and international matters. The mayor also takes charge of the city council meetings and city ceremonies.
The current mayor of Wichita is Brandon Whipple. He is in his first term in office, which started in 2020 and will end in 2024. He won the general election in 2019 with 23,174 votes, which was 46.4% of the vote.
Mayor Whipple has supported bills that involve eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; housing protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking; changing sales taxes; and ensuring earned maternity leave.
Mayor Whipple was a member of the Democratic party when he was in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2012 to 2020, and he is still involved in the Democratic party today. However, his policies show that he leans more conservative than most of the members of the Democratic party, though by political standards he is still liberal.
The Wichita City Council is responsible for adopting the budget, appointing certain government employees, imposing taxes, and creating or changing laws. The City Council has seven members including the mayor. The mayor is elected by the whole city, but the other six members are each elected by one of the city’s six districts.
All the members of the city council are nonpartisan. However, the initiatives put in place are consistent with a largely conservative city council.
The policies that the residents of the city support are another big indicator of the political climate. Certain policies are more likely to be supported or opposed by liberals or conservatives. Fewer abortion laws, more gun control laws, and legal same-sex marriage are all more likely to be supported by liberals and opposed by conservatives.
Abortions in Kansas must be performed before 20 weeks unless the life of the patient is in danger. At least 24 hours before receiving an abortion, the patient must get state-directed counseling and ultrasound. Private insurance policies, health plans, public funding, and insurance policies for public employees won’t cover abortions unless there is life endangerment, rape, or incest involved. The parents of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided for the minor.
In 2017, there were 4 facilities in Kansas that provided abortions, all of which were clinics. 98% of Kansas counties did not have clinics, leaving 61% of women without access to an abortion clinic.
Wichita residents tend to support the high number of abortion laws or want abortions to be completely outlawed, which is consistent with conservative beliefs.
Gun Control Laws
Kansas had the 19th highest gun death rate in 2020 and the 17th highest crime gun export rate. Kansas gun laws include mental health record reporting. Kansas gun laws do not include universal background checks, gun owner licensing, domestic violence gun laws, assault weapons, large capacity magazine restrictions, waiting periods, concealed and open carry regulations, and child access prevention laws.
Wichita residents tend to support the low number of gun control laws, which is consistent with conservative beliefs.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Kansas on November 12, 2014, and was the 33rd state to do so. This was about seven months before the Supreme Court mandate required all states to legalize same-sex marriage. Wichita residents tended to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is consistent with conservative beliefs.
The population of Wichita is 391,731 people, and the population density is 2,430 people per square mile. 50.7% of the residents are female and 49.3% are male. The median age in Wichita is 34, and the number of people per household is 2.5.
The racial makeup of Wichita is as follows:
- White: 63.1%
- Black: 10.9%
- Hispanic/Latino: 16.7%
- Asian: 4.9%
- Native American: 0.6%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
- Two or More Races: 3.6%
- Other: 0.1%
49.8% of residents are married, and 13.1% are divorced. 33.3% of residents are married with children and 19.8% are single with children.
The average income of Wichita residents is $24,921 per year, and the median household income is $45,907 per year. The unemployment rate is 5.9%. The sales tax rate is 7.5%, and the income tax rate is 5.7%.
87.6% of Wichita residents are high school graduates and 24.3% are only high school graduates. 19.2% of residents have two-year degrees, 29.5% have four-year degrees, 1.7% have master’s degrees, and 1% have professional degrees.
52.3% of Wichita residents are religious. 51.1% are Christian, 0.0% are Jewish, 0.9% are of eastern faith, and 0.3% are affiliated with Islam.
The rate of violent crime in Wichita on a scale of 1 to 100 is 48.4. The rate of property crime on the same scale is 73.6.