San Francisco: America’s most liberal county
After weeks of analyzing data on progressive values and counting down the top 100 liberal-friendly counties, The Daily Caller is proud to present its final result: shockingly, the city by the Bay is the most liberal place in America. In keeping with our tradition of reporting on what life is like in the most polarized places in the country (see: conservative Williams County — guitar-shaped pools and more churches that you could swing a dead cat at), we took at look at San Francisco. Click here to view the full list of the top 20 liberal counties and slideshow.
To start, we examined at the county’s voting record, and considered median household income. Then we weighed the percentage of residents with college degrees and professional jobs and ended with a look at state laws on things like abortion, gun control and gay rights. San Francisco rises to the top in every category.
San Francisco county and city are one and the same — proudly represented by the nation’s most powerful female politician — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Democrats consistently ride to victory in landslides: Obama had 84 percent in 2008 and Kerry had 83 percent in ’04. This is no doubt the bluest part of a blue state — California has more representation (15 percent) on our list of the most liberal places in the U.S. than any other state in the union.
Famous for its steep hills and summer fog, San Francisco is a well-established international tourist destination. The focal point of this Paris of the West is the blazing Golden Gate Bridge. It’s considered by many, and certainly by the city proper’s nearly 1 million inhabitants, to be the most picturesque city in the world. Full of distinctive cultural enclaves and idiosyncratic residents, and a stone’s throw from the billionaire entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley — San Fran has it all, except for conservatives that is.
“I’d be tarred and feathered if I wore my Sarah Palin shirt here,” said one resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity lest his co-workers read this and tar and feather him.
The streets are full of farmers markets and artists’ bazaars. The annual Bay to Breakers 12k race has been a San Francisco tradition for more than 100 years — these days, many participants run in the nude (there’s even an official offshoot “bare to breakers” for nude runners), or in body paint. A parade follows with floats and eccentric (think genitalia-themed) costumes.
The city ranks in the top-five nation-wide in terms of median income, and the gay-rights rainbow flag got its start here.
There are other things that make it tougher to live here — the city has strict regulations on wood-burning fireplaces, for instance, and periodically institutes “Spare the Air” bans preventing residents from lighting fires in their homes.
Beware if you have a friend visit from San Francisco lest they steal all the throwaway plastic grocery bags you stuck under the sink — they’re considered a precious and rare commodity in this vigilant environmentalist city.
A football fan walking down Haight Street on a Saturday afternoon in the fall would be hard-pressed to find a bar with a college game on (if they were watching a sport it’d probably be soccer). But San Franciscans do love their bikes — it’s not uncommon to see three-seaters adorned with Christmas lights and hula-hoops — the more tricked out the better.
On any given day, San Franciscans trek to Dolores Park, — rugs, guitars and upright basses in tow. Street vendors swarm “Dolo,” along with the local man who’s always selling pot truffles (whatever those are), pot brownies and a number of other mind-altering goods to interested parties. And while San Franciscans like it that they can generally count on being left alone, it’s just as easy to find a friendly game of pick-up Frisbee in the park.
What defines San Francisco said Dave Ray is that, “It’s impossible to be the weirdest person in San Francisco.” Ray, a 3-and-a-half year veteran of the city hails from Illinois and added: “You can wear whatever you want, act however you want, and it’s impossible to be the weirdest person in San Francisco because anything you do, everyone’s already seen it.”
“And that’s a positive in our mind,” he adds. “A comforting fact.”