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Sacramento’s liberal ranking

Today’s online edition of The Sacramento Bee featured an interesting story by Phillip Reese, the paper’s stat master, who has been putting together a terrific series of interactive maps and charts using data from various state and local databases.

Today’s was a listing (and slide show) of the most liberal and the most conservative cities in the state, based on data from the Secretary of State’s office.

According to the charts, the most liberal city (that is, the city with the highest percentage of registered Democrats) in the state was — no surprise — Berkeley (only 4.5 percent Republican). The most conservative (highest percentage of registered Republicans) was tiny Canyon Lake, a gated city of 6,207 registered voters in Riverside County (only 21.1 percent Democrats). Greens, Libertarians and independents weren’t included.

But after I got through both lists, looking all the time for my hometown, I discovered that Sacramento wasn’t on the list! My curiosity piqued, I went straight to the source for information: Reese himself.

Here’s what he told me, via email:

"Sacramento is the 88th (of 481) most liberal city in the state. About 20.3 percent of Sacramento residents are Republicans. The only local city with a lower percentage of Republicans is Davis."

Indeed, Davis is on the list, at No. 43, with only 16 percent Republicans.

Still, you might wonder: How did Sacramento rate only 88th most liberal when it is 79.7 percent Democrat? That’s a high percentage. The answer is that all cities with a population of 5,000 or more were included, so there are a lot of smaller towns with higher percentages than Sacramento (think: Santa Cruz, even tiny San Pablo in Contra Costa County).


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