Best Places to Live

2016 Best Cities for Liberals

Are you part of the #NEVERTRUMP movement? Are you with Hillary? Perhaps you were feeling the Bern in the primaries. If so, the 2016 Best Cities for Liberals list is for you. (If not, try the Best Cities for Conservatives or Best Cities for Moderates.)

The premise, summarized here and outlined more in the overview, is this: In today’s polarized nation it’s easy to get sick of all the partisan bickering. You’re not likely to change many minds, so why not just live somewhere where folks agree with you already?

To find these liberal meccas, we crunched election data, as well as data on political leanings and activities from Esri. Then we worked with Simmons Research to identify a TV network, an automobile brand, a restaurant, a retailer and a magazine that liberals are likely to turn to. That was our “basket of goods.”

Once we established our basket, we found areas that buy these goods in the extreme. We figure that you want to have more in common with your liberal neighbors than your Clinton yard signs. You want to be able to grab some dinner and talk about that cool sloth article you just read in National Geographic.

Thus, here are the results for 2016. Let us know what you think. Are these cities lefty enough for you?


Ranking Criteria
2012 Presidential Election Results
Current Political Representation
Registered Voters
Consumer Habits
  • 10

    Kailua, HI

    Population: 12,652
    Courtesy of Chris Spurgeon under a CC 2.0 license.

    Although Kailua, HI is more often associated with sand and surf than politics, the city definitely belongs on this list. After all, President Obama was born just 15 miles away in Honolulu, and the Obama family has vacationed in Kailua several times over the past eight years. It makes sense that he and his political party would have fans in the area, right?

    Nearly 70 percent of voters in Honolulu County, which includes Kailua, voted for President Obama in 2012, and the town’s residents helped vote Mayor Kirk Caldwell (also a Democrat) into office the same year. Mayor Caldwell has focused on environmental sustainability, affordable housing and homelessness during his tenure, and he is a strong same-sex marriage supporter. During a 2016 event celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, Caldwell said, “This issue, plain and simple, is about civil rights. And I'm so proud standing here today, one year – what should have happened years ago – that we brought equality to everyone to fall in love and marry whoever they want."

    The Best Places to Live in Hawaii

    Kailua residents also helped elect Congresswoman and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard into office in 2012. Congresswoman Gabbard represents Hawaii’s second congressional district, and she’s the first Hindu American member of the U.S. Congress. In addition, she won the 2016 Democratic primary in her district, securing 84.6 percent of votes cast.

    Back to the sand and surf: Kailua’s location on Oahu’s Windward Coast makes it a favorite destination for beach-lovers and those looking to escape reality. There are several beaches to choose from, such as Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach and Kalama Beach Park, and the water is perfect for activities like snorkeling and scuba-diving. Craving adventure? Many locals say the Olomana Three Peaks Trail and Maunawili Falls Trail are well-worth traversing.

    Residents here are likely to …

    • Eat at California Pizza Kitchen.

    • Shop on Amazon.

    • Drive a Kia.

    • Read National Geographic.

    • Watch HBO.