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13 Best U.S. Cities for Conservatives to Live

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Electoral trends show America’s large cities growing more and more liberal, meaning urban conservatives are becoming more and more isolated. However, there are a handful of cities out there that buck the trend and still provide friendly habitat for city-dwelling conservatives. We scoured the country for large cities with populations over 200,000 that offer a combination of conservative values, a high quality of life, and plenty of big city activities to enjoy.

We looked into recent voting trends, tax rates, business-friendly grades, locals who identify as “highly religious,” gun-friendly laws, conservative local politicians, and more. Then we combined them with quality of life indicators like crime rate, commute times, housing prices, unemployment rate, and more.  In the end we concluded these are the 13 Best U.S. Cities for Conservatives to Live

1st—OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

Automobile_Alley_in_Oklahoma_City

Oklahoma City is a red city in an extremely red state that offers a great quality of life. The area is awash in oil and gas money, something that keeps the unemployment rate low and ensures it’s the most “recession proof city in America,” according to Forbes magazine. Oklahoma City is situated right in the middle of Tornado Alley, but it’s also home to the corporate headquarters of Sonic Drive-In so a Sonic Happy Hour is always close by. The conservative city doesn’t much believe in government redistributing wealth, but it saw no problem with the NBA redistributing liberal Seattle’s beloved Supersonics to their city. Now that the city has the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s getting even more national exposure for its cuisine, nightlife, and local attractions.

Population:  599,199

Median Household Income:  $44,937

Median List Price For A Home:  $134,000

Unemployment Rate:  4.7%

Home Ownership:  60.6%

Commute Time:  20.1 minutes

Taxes: Income tax and 3.75% sales tax

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  Tornadoes and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

Things To Do:  Dine at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, enjoy the zoo and botanical gardens, check out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and visit The American Pigeon Museum.

Famous Locals: Sports columnist Skip Bayless, chef Rick Bayless, NFL receiver Wes Welker, and… Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Seriously. It’s hard to believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren is from here.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  41.7% (Oklahoma County)

Mayor:  Mick Cornett—Republican

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2nd—COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

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While the hippies in Boulder and Denver meditate and medicate (with marijuana), Colorado Springs is keeping it conservative. This mountain city is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy, a handful of military bases, and numerous defense industry jobs. Forbes magazine gave Colorado Springs an A+ grade in its list of “Best U.S. Cities for Business.” Many are attracted to the fantastic weather, including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which trains numerous Olympians in high altitude. In recent years, the city has attracted a number of evangelical Christian organizations, including Focus on the Family, Young Life, and numerous others.

Population:  431,834

Median Household Income:  $53,747

Median List Price For A Home:  $201,000 (View homes for sale in Colorado Springs HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  8.0%

Home Ownership:  61.1%

Commute Time:  20.7 minutes

Taxes:  Income tax and 7.63% sales tax

Reasons Liberals Avoid It:  Congressional Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs), who has an A rating by the NRA and 87% on The Heritage Foundation’s scorecard (highest in Colorado).

Things To Do:  The neighboring mountains offer ample opportunity for hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, and fishing. Also, Colorado Springs is home to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  38.1% (El Paso County)

Mayor:  Steve Bach—Republican

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3rd—ANAHEIM, CA

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PHOTO SOURCE: FLICKR

Most conservatives view Southern California as a liberal hellscape, a land of porn stars, pricey social programs, and Hollywood elites who shovel cash into Democrats’ coffers. However, it’s also the state that brought the country President Ronald Reagan, and there’s still Orange County, a Republican stronghold filled with republican cities and towns like Anaheim. While Anaheim’s residents must endure both a state income and sales tax, the financial blow is lessened by perpetual sunshine and the happiest place on earth—Disneyland.

Population:  343,248

Median Household Income:  $45,330

Median List Price For A Home:  $426,000 (View homes for sale in Anaheim HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  8.4%

Home Ownership Rate:  49.1%

Commute Time:  26.8 minutes

Taxes:  Income tax, 8.0% sales tax

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  Disney’s labor practices

Things To Do:  Catch a MLB game at Angel Stadium, visit Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm, or enjoy shopping and dining out.

Mayor:  Tom Tait—Republican

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  44.8% (Orange County)

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4th—FORT WORTH, TX

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Fort Worth may be home to liberal hero and State Senator Wendy Davis, but it’s still a Republican city. Home to Texas Christian University, Fort Worth is the “5th Most Bible-Minded Large City” and over 46 percent of residents identify as “highly religious.” The city’s famed Fort Worth Stockyards remains a fixture, an example of the locals pride in its western heritage, as well as its cowboy and cowgirl past. Plus, because Fort Worth is in Texas, it retains the constitutional right to secede from the U.S. if it so chooses.

Population:  777,992

Median Household Income:  $50,456

Median List Price For A Home:  $247,000 (View homes for sale in Fort Worth HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  $6.0%

Home Ownership:  59.8%

Commute Time:  25.6 minutes

Taxes: NO income tax, 8.25% sales tax

Why Liberals Avoid It:  The bouncers and bartenders can be unfriendly to outsiders at Billy Bob’s Texas.

Things To Do:  Take part in the Fort Worth Zombie Crawl, catch some live music at the World’s Largest Honky Tonk, eat steak, tour various museums and galleries, and check out a rodeo.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  41.4% (Tarrant County)

Mayor:  Betsy Price—Republican

Snapshot 11:1:13 11:49 AM-2

5th—BOISE, ID

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In the unlikely event that San Francisco and Salt Lake City had a lovechild and raised it in the mountains, you’d have Boise, Idaho. The tech jobs are plentiful, the Mormonism abundant, there are no restrictions on assault weapons, and there’s plenty of art, music and theater. Boise is the cultural heart of one of America’s reddest states, and democrats are increasingly relegated to the sidelines, holding no major seats at the federal or state level. It’s not surprising, in Idaho there are 29.7% more conservatives than liberals.

Population: 230,058

Median Household Income:  $49,516

Median List Price For A Home:  $275,000 (View Boise homes for sale HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  6.1%

Home Ownership:  61.5%

Commute Time:  17.5 minutes

Taxes:  Income tax and sales tax (6.0%)

Reasons Liberals Avoid It:  Congressional Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Boise), who has an A rating by the NRA and 78% on The Heritage Foundation’s scorecard.

Things To Do:  Fly fishing, hunting, skiing, snowboarding, eating deep fried finger steaks, and more. Check this out to learn more:  “32 Things to Consider Before Moving to Boise.”

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  42.7% (Ada County)

Mayor:  David H. Bieter—Democrat

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6th—NASHVILLE, TN

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Nashville may have voted for Obama, but it is still the “Buckle on the Bible Belt.” The city is known as the “Protestant Vatican” because it’s home to over 700 churches, a handful of christian colleges, and the headquarters for the Southern Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention USA, and the National Association of Free Will Baptists. According to the American Bible Society, Nashville is the “America’s Most Bible-Minded Large City,” which isn’t surprising since it’s home to the largest producer of bibles (Thomas Nelson). In addition to being the Country Music Capital of the World,” Nashville’s also home to Christian record companies like EMI Christian Music Group and Provident Label Group and World Records.

Population:  624,496

Median Household Income:  $46,141

Median List Price For A Home:  $191,700 (View Nashville homes for sale HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  6.8%

Home Ownership:  56.2%

Commute Time:  23.3 minutes

Taxes: NO income tax (except on dividend and interest income), but sales tax is 9.25%

Reason Liberals Avoid It: They’re waiting for Dolly Parton to come to them.

Things To Do:  Watch live music, eat hot chicken, cheer for Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (a Tim Tebow who can throw a football). Here are “27 Things to Consider Before Moving to Nashville.”

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  58.5%

Mayor:  Karl Dean—Democrat

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7th—ANCHORAGE, AK

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Few cities in America offer the natural beauty, or access to natural resources, that Anchorage does. Sure, moose and bears wander the streets in winter and “Sarah Palin” is now considered a dirty word there, but Anchorage is still located in the Wild West of Alaska. Oil drilling is always in style, guns are plentiful and permits are not required, and nobody pays sales or income tax. It’s a conservative wonderland, provided you ignore recent gains Democrats have been making.

Population:  298,610

Median Household Income:  $75,485

Median List Price For A Home: $312,000

Unemployment Rate: 5.1%

Home Ownership: 61.4%

Commute Time:  18.6 minutes

Taxes:  No income tax, no sales tax.

Things To Do:  Hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, sled dog racing, ice carving, shouting insults at Vladimir Putin across the Bering Strait, etc.

Why Liberals Avoid It:  Because Sarah Palin is from just down the road in Wasilla.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  Under 50%

Mayor:  Dan Sullivan—Republican

8th—Arlington, TX

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George W. Bush may live in Dallas, but Dallas belongs to the Democrats now. However, neighboring red cities have Dallas surrounded, offering conservatives an expansive urban refuge unlike anywhere else in the country. Like Plano and Fort Worth, Arlington has a republican mayor, conservative voters, and plenty of economic opportunity.

Population:  375,600

Median Household Income:  $52,699

Median List Price For A Home: $226,000

Unemployment Rate: 6.0%

Home Ownership: 58.5%

Commute Time:  25.6 minutes

Taxes:  NO income tax, 8.0% sales tax

Things To Do:  Catch a game at Cowboys Stadium or Rangers Ballpark at Arlington, visit the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, or take a break from America’s political/economic roller coaster and ride the fun ones at Six Flags Over Texas.

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  It’s the largest American city not served by a comprehensive public transportation system.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  41.4% (Tarrant County)

Mayor:  Robert Cluck—Republican

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9th—GILBERT, AZ

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Once the “Hay Capital of the World,” Gilbert has moved beyond its agricultural roots and become the fourth fastest growing municipality in America. Highly educated, affluent, and incredibly safe (5th Safest in America), Gilbert is a fast-growing city that still feels like a small town. Because Arizona’s only gun restriction is the National Firearms Act, Gilbert residents over 21 are free to purchase, own and carry a gun. Conservative values are a selling point in Gilbert; there’s even a local real estate agent named John VanTilburg who goes by the title of “The Conservative’s Real Estate Agent.”

Population:  221,140

Median Household Income:  $80,090

Median List Price For A Home:  $246,000 (View homes for sale in Gilbert HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  5.4%

Home Ownership:  74.2%

Commute Time:  26.9 minutes

Taxes:  Income tax and 7.8% sales tax

Reasons Liberals Avoid It:  Local Congressional Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), who has an A+ rating by the NRA and 98% on The Heritage Foundation’s scorecard.

Things To Do:  Enjoy family-oriented activities, year-round golfing (over 160 courses within 30 miles), explore the Sonoran desert, and bask in nearly perpetual sunshine.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  43.2 (Maricopa County)

Mayor:  John Lewis—Republican

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10th—PLANO, TX

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Business-friendly Plano is home to the corporate headquarters of Pizza Hut, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Frito Lay, and other companies that anger Michelle Obama for making America #1 in child obesity. It’s also home to Rent-A-Center, Siemens PLM Software, Alliance Data, and JCPenney and more. Plano routinely shows up on lists for “best places to live,” particularly due to its economic opportunities, wealth, and lack of crime. Because it’s in Texas, there are few regulations on gun ownership, and it has castle doctrine and stand-your ground laws, making it legal to use deadly force on anyone unlawfully attempting to enter one’s home.

Population:  272,068

Median Household Income:  $82,901

Median List Price For A Home:  $418,000 (View Plano homes for sale HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  6.0%

Home Ownership:  65.5%

Commute Time:  25.9 minutes

Taxes:  NO income tax, 8.25% sales tax

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  Local Congressional Rep. Sam Johnson, a former Vietnam War POW, once offered to solve the President’s Syria problem by personally flying an F-15 over the country and dropping two nukes on it (article).

Things To Do:  Get rich

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  33.5% (Collin County)

Mayor:  Harry LaRosiliere—Republican

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11th—JACKSONVILLE, FL

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Jacksonville is the hometown of conservative royalty like football icon Tim Tebow, singer Pat Boone, and Southern Rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. The city has a strong military presence thanks to multiple navy bases, and because it’s located in Florida there’s no income tax. Unlike other large Florida cities like Tampa and Miami, the people of Jacksonville tend to vote Republican. Jacksonville’s current mayor is a Democrat, but he won narrowly, and the previous three mayors were all Republicans.

Population:  836,507

Median Household Income:  $49,192

Median List Price For A Home: $135,000 (View Jacksonville homes for sale HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  6.7%

Home Ownership:  63.3%

Commute Time:  23.5 minutes

Taxes:  NO income tax / 6% sales tax

Things To Do:  The city has plenty of performing arts and live music, the largest urban park system in America, access to beaches, and someday the Jacksonville Jaguars will be watchable again.

Mayor:  Alvin Brown—Democrat

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  47.8% (Duvall County)

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12th—SPOKANE, WA

Snapshot 10:31:13 3:41 PMWashington State is divided in half like a McDonald’s McDLT. The west side is the left side, the rainy and wet side, the urban side filled with Seattle liberals. On the east side of the Cascade Mountains is the state’s Republican stronghold, a population of ranchers, farmers, and others actively trying to create a separate state independent from Western Washington. Spokane is the metropolitan center for Eastern Washington, as well as the Inland Northwest. It’s the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis and the most conservative large city in the Pacific Northwest.

Population:  209,525

Median Household Income:  $41,466

Median List Price For A Home:  $165,000

Unemployment Rate:  7.2%

Home Ownership:  57.1%

Commute Time:  19.9 minutes

Taxes:  NO income tax, 8.7% sales tax

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  It’s really close to Idaho

Things To Do:  Outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and boating, as well as museums, semi-pro sports teams, wineries and breweries, and a strong performing arts and music scene.

Famous Locals:  Singer Bing Crosby, actor Craig T. Nelson, NBA star John Stockton, and MLB player Ryne Sandberg.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012):  45.6% (Spokane County)

Mayor:  David Condon—Republican

Snapshot 11:1:13 11:39 AM

13th—SILICON VALLEY, CA

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Sure, the cities that make up Silicon Valley are socially liberal and donate heavily to Democrats, but the southern part of San Francisco Bay is filled with Libertarian wealth creators and techno-utopians that the Republican Party’s actively trying to court. Social conservatism is not en vogue, but the area is filled with Ayn Rand-inspired objectivists committed to the cause of individualism. Is it a sign of change to come that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently hosted a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, or that Sen. Rand Paul is rubbing elbows with Silicon Valley’s libertarian-leaning entrepreneurs? Perhaps, but a few local billionaires are even dreaming up a libertarian floating city inhabited by tech nerds.

Population:  3.5-4 million

Median Household Income:  $89,064

Median List Price For A Home:  $743,000 (View homes for sale in Santa Clara County HERE)

Unemployment Rate:  5.9%

Home Ownership:  58.7%

Commute Time:  24.3 minutes

Things To Do:  Make money hand-over-fist

Reason Liberals Avoid It:  They don’t, but the high cost of living is a challenge for lots of people.

Local Conservatives:  Some of the GOP’s largest Silicon Valley donors include HP CEO Meg Whitman (ran for governor), Facebook investor Peter Thiel, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

Percent Who Voted For Obama (2012): 69.8% (Santa Clara County)

Snapshot 11:1:13 12:29 PM-2

Did we forget any other large cities that are ideal for conservatives? Let us know in the comments.

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  • WantAmericaToHeal

    A ‘socialist paradise’ would be like Sweden or Germany. But you just keep watching fox and keep your head in the sand…

  • WantAmericaToHeal

    True.

  • jeremyjanson

    The companies that cause child obesity are Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and Sony, not Pizza Hut et al.

  • jeremyjanson

    Not if the people who live in them don’t want economic growth and are happy to let them die (because, for instance, they’re rich and don’t want “icky” factories nearby).

  • jeremyjanson

    “Best hospitals in the state”

    Uhhh… NO. The best hospitals in the state are Virginia Mason and University Medical Center/Fred Hutch, both of which are in Seattle. Why does everyone everywhere erroneously believe their town has the best hospitals?

  • jeremyjanson

    The Soviet Union became a world superpower and put a man in to space.

  • jeremyjanson

    Private sector mass-transit would probably make a lot more sense than private sector roads, and even the founding fathers understood this (hence, the clearly stated constitutional authority of the Federal Government to fund and build Post Roads.) Further, the private sector has stepped in to fill the mass-transit need many times, including most recently in Clayton County, Georgia (south Atlanta suburbs) after the state disbanded CTRAN and also along Buford Highway in Atlanta.

  • jeremyjanson

    “Well considering all of those liberal cities used to be red”

    Not ALL of them. Los Angeles, Boston (“Footloose” and the banning of rock n’ roll happened, but it was not in a small town in the Midwest), Providence, San Francisco and Detroit were all pretty much red, and to some degree you could claim that Chicago was what we would now consider red at least on social issues, but Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and Atlanta never were, and in fact many of the big cities in Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana have actually gone the opposite direction, having started out blue and gotten redder. Houston used to be a liberal town and now tends slightly conservative.

  • jeremyjanson

    You idiots don’t realize you’re bringing back the 13th century.

  • That Catholic

    The soviet union also could barely afford to feed it’s population, and collapsed in the 80′s. Meanwhile, US of A put a man on the moon

  • Capitalist_Libertarian

    I wouldn’t agree with Houston being conservative leaning. They have that fruitcake, sheila jackson lee and the first lgbt mayor.

  • http://freerepublic.com GOPcongress

    Actually, they are ESTABLISHMENT republican at best. They are certainly not entrepreneurs in the sense that conservatives define entrepreneurship.

    And keep in mind that Silicon Valley has invested heavily into the Obama administration, as well as Democratic politics, and have received tax breaks that most entrepreneurs could only DREAM of. It is Crony Capitalism in spades!

  • Raj

    Author failed to mention Silicon valley contribution to Obama was at 83% and what GOP received was minuscule. Only growth options for conservatives are to build bigger and better prison cities not tech cities.

  • Dude

    It’s simpler than that:

    Show me a big city and I will show you a Democrat voter base.

    Since concentration of poor people is more apparent within larger cities, I cannot say that there are more poorer people in such areas, vs more rural.

    Then again, cause and effect. Poor people may be drawn to where large cities have more social support.

    Finally, I have noticed that the more perceived competition that exists for scarce resources, the more socialism takes hold. Stick a bunch of people in a new country with a bunch of gold, old, wood, etc… and they will all be conservatives pretty quickly, and probably less competitive

  • Dude

    As soon as someone says you dont have an open mind, they immediately want to fill it with their own ideas.

    I live in a conservative area, and travel the world with my kids to learn about other cultures and viewpoints.

    I think what the internet needs is less judgementalism and negativity, esp in opposing political viewpoints.

  • Dude

    Unfortunately, its only a tiny subset in the bay area of rich libertarians that want tax avoidance, but the article seems to lump the whole bay area in this group (seasteaders)

  • Andrew Rai

    Thanks for the list! I’ll surely cross these cities out of my travel list, or cities to ever live in.