The fact that larger, urban areas lean to the political “left” shouldn’t surprise anyone. But the degree to which certain Texas cities do may shock some, as published in a recent article by the Economist.
In Texas, the most realtively conservative (or least liberal) city over 250,000 in population was Arlington, Texas. Interestingly, Arlington has implemented several inept policies such as “traffic-calming zones”, “park and ride” carpool lots, useless bike lanes and plans to subsidize high-speed rail.
Fort Worth, Corpus Christi and San Antonio ranked farther left than Arlington.
Taxpayers would be wise to remember that Fort Worth is one of many local entities in Tarrant County (Texas’ most politically conservative area) to partner with the ethically suspect TRWD and the federal government on the Trinity River Vision Project, a billion dollar economic-development boondoggle.
San Antonio has also had problems with local scandals, including the push for light-rail in the face of repeated voter opposition and several fiscal belly flops that we’ve previously covered. As a reward, their former Mayor, Julian Castro, was recruited to work for the Obama administration.
Dallas also leans decisively to the left, with Austin ranking as the most liberal in the state. It’s no surprise that Dallas voters elected left-leaning Mayor, Mike Rawlings, whose progressive underpinnings were allegedly made more apparent at this years U.S. Conference of Mayors, according to several colleagues in attendance.
What’s most troubling about the study is that, even though several of Texas’ largest cities were “less left” than many in other states, they weren’t very far to the right (or the center) of the index.
Stated differently, Texas cities were farther to the left than they were to the right, indicating a general liberal bias.
To be fair, many of the items the study used to poll residents centered on issues that researchers naturally associate with liberal agendas such as energy, the environment and conservation. In other words, residents who are sympathetic to these issues may not necessarily hold them at the expense of fiscal issues typically associated with “the right”.
Nonetheless, this arguably flawed study still found the most liberal cities in America to be San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Seattle.
It’s findings, combined with other local policy trends we’ve identified across Texas, suggest that conservatives need to do a much better job of ensuring that their local officials’ conservative rhetoric is followed by tangible policy reforms.
If it can’t be done in Texas, what hope does the rest of the nation have?