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San Francisco: America’s most liberal county

Photo of Aleksandra Kulczuga
Aleksandra Kulczuga
Contributor

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.”

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  • bry

    I lived in SF a while back. After the newness and excitement wore out I saw the city for what it really was. Oppressive would be a good description. You were free to talk about opinions as long as you were in sync and like minded as the progressives that swarm the town.

    SF is full of misfits who would not be comfortable any place that did not bow to their way of thinking. The simply can not process information they do not agree with, whether it be true or false.

    I prefer to live and let live in places that are more open minded and friendly.

  • dencal26

    Nothing more repulsive than the Folsum street fair. A parade of Homosexual deviants.

  • tomdoff

    San Francisco is not a ‘Liberal City’ if you’re a homophobic racist. Which is why Gopers don’t feel comfortable there.

    • dencal26

      San Fran is the only Heterophobic City in America

  • SFNATIVE

    Tucker, I disagree with 90% of what you say, but I have enjoyed watching you sice your days on crossfire.
    The lack of intelligence that is displayed in most of these comments never ceases to scare me. I’m surprised some of these people know how to use a computer. Tucker, does it ever bother you that so many “conservatives” have such little understanding of the world, in general?
    I’m a 5th generation San Franciscan. I consider myself to be extremely lucky that my family decided to settle here so long ago. The progressive atmosphere and energy attract some of the greatest minds in the country to come and live here and contribute to the effort to improve the standard of living for everyone in our communities and beyond. We are one of the greenest cities in the world and we are just getting started.
    While I’m not surprised to be #1, I always love winning.
    P.S. It costs so much to live here for a reason.

    • desmo1121

      Being #1 isn’t always positive or something to be proud of! Progressive is of those things to be not proud of or boast to loudly in public.

      • SFNATIVE

        Sounds like someone is a Number Two….

        • desmo1121

          Nope..sorry. Happy and proud as a conservative Texan. Born as a liberal in Michigan, grew up in Texas.

          Where SF is great to visit, would never live there.Too many liberals!!

  • windrdr

    Hmm. Almost 30 years ago at this point, since I lived for a year down the coast in Monterey. Always had a good time on weekend trips up to SanFran. Got mugged once in Berkley, but never had in trouble on the other side of the bay. Place always did wander around aimlessly to a different set of drummers giving an impromptu jam in Golden Gate Park. March? Only to protest something or other. No way I’d ever want to live there – it’s kinda like Disneyland on ‘shrooms or something, just a little too whacked.

  • rainmaker1145

    Liberals never evolve beyond wee-wee jokes and being peeping Toms. It’s not a political movement, it is a criminal conspiracy dedicated to the idea of legalizing the right to be a pervert and embracing child molesters.

    One of my kids lives in California and I think she goes to sleep each night worrying if her kids will ever have a chance in a place so completely corrupted by a lack of any redeeming virtue of sustainable value.

  • camp906

    Sodom and Gomorrah made the list! What a surprise!

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  • pharmgirl

    San Francisco liberal? In some parts yes but for the most part not anymore. If you eat at a restuarant plan on paying an extra tax for their employees healthcare. The owners don’t want to pay it, so you get to. Marin? The homeless are unsightly so they have a law…No homeless people. Now there’s compassion. Bicycles? Try driving during “critical mass”. That’s when hundreds on bikes intentionally block intersections so people trying to get home after work…can’t. Wood fires? Nope, not unless that’s your sole source of heat. Want to have a smoke outside, away from eveyone so you aren’t impossing. Forget it. No smoking in any commercial areas which is everywhere including beaches. Liberal? This isn’t my definition.