2016 Best Cities for Conservatives
Can’t bear the thought of another President named Clinton in the White House? Want to Make America Great Again? If so, cast your ballot for the 2016 Best Cities for Conservatives. (If this sounds like the wrong list for you, try the Best Cities for Liberals or Best Cities for Moderates).
Why are we doing this ranking? Glenn Beck hates it and thinks the Liberals got all the cool cities. Well, check the overview for the full rationale but in summary: in today’s divided country it’s easy to get sick of all the political in-fighting. Why not just live somewhere where folks agree with you already?
To find these conservative bastions, we crunched election data looking for huge Romney support in 2012, and data on where conservatives live and take part in political activities from Esri. Then we worked with Simmons Research to identify a TV network, an automobile maker, a restaurant, a retailer and a magazine that conservatives tend to gravitate towards. This we call our “basket of goods.”
Once we had this basket, we looked for populations that buy these goods in the extreme, figuring that you’d want to have more in common with your neighbors than just your political yard signs. You want to be able to grab some biscuits and gravy and talk about football.
Thus, here are the results of our 2016 Conservative Cities ranking. Let us know what you think. Are these places right-wing enough for you?
Located along the Platte River, about 90 miles from both Lincoln and Omaha, Columbus is a rural community of about 22,000. The city’s economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing, and like most farm towns, Columbus politics tend to lean to the right. In 2012, Mitt Romney took more than 75 percent of the vote in Platte County, compared to Barack Obama’s 23 percent. In fact, Columbus and Platte County have consistently voted for the Republican nominee in every presidential race since 1968.
Nebraska’s Republican Governor Pete Ricketts is a stalwart of conservative policies. He supports the death penalty and tougher border security and immigration laws. He is against same-sex marriage and granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and he is for school vouchers to level the playing field for middle class families. The state’s two U.S. Senators are also Republicans. Columbus is represented in the U.S. House by Republican Jeff Fortenberry, who has been a consistent champion of military and veterans services. Columbus pays tribute to the brave men and women who serve with the Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial in Pawnee Park, which features life-sized statues of WWII soldiers storming the D-Day beaches. The site is also home to the Freedom Memorial, which commemorates the heroism on 9/11 and even incorporates pieces of steel from the World Trade Center.
Columbus’ fiscally responsible City Council, led by Republican Mayor Mike Moser, has been able to fund major city improvement projects, including a new library/arts center, without raising property taxes. In fact, the city even lowered property tax rates in 2016, after factoring in construction costs for the projects. The new arts center will make a great addition to the city’s full menu of quality-of-life amenities. Sprawling open lands make Columbus a perfect choice for outdoor enthusiasts – whether it be boating and fishing along the Platte River or in Lake Babcock, biking or jogging on one of the city’s many tree-lined trails, or attending one of several events hosted by the Platte County Agricultural Society, including thoroughbred horse racing in the summer and fall.