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Report: Seattle 9th most liberal metro area in US

Demonstrators in Seattle in 2018. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

Recent data from Nielsen says that the Seattle area has the 9th highest percentage of liberal adults in the United States.

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First reported by the Seattle Times, the data shows an upward trend of left-leaning Seattle-area voters since 2017. In 2010, 49 percent of the population ages 18 and up identified as as Democrats or Democratic-leaning. That number increased all the way to 52 percent in 2019, encompassing King and Snohomish Counties.

That being so, there was also a gap between the two counties — the former reported 55 percent of adults as Democrats or Democratic-leaning, while the latter sat around 44 percent. Pierce County — not included by Nielsen under the “Seattle area” catch-all — reports just 39 percent of its adults in that category.

The increase in the Seattle area’s left-leaning adults could very well be attributed to a sizable influx of transplants from other left-leaning cities. Of the top three cities for renters migrating to Seattle, two are from areas in the top 10 of Nielsen’s most liberal metro areas (Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively).

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San Francisco ranked first in the U.S. for left-leaning metro areas, with 65 percent of its adults in the Democrat/Democratic-leaning category. Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina was second at 63 percent, following by Philadelphia at 59 percent. Coming in at 10th just behind Seattle was Los Angeles at 51 percent.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the Seattle area has just under 25 percent of adults who identify as either Republicans or who lean Republican. Nine percent identify as independents. The remaining slice of King and Snohomish Counties is composed of people who have either “other” or no political affiliations, most of whom are not registered voters.

Nielsen’s data also broke out the respective incomes of each political faction. Seattle area Democrats have a median household income of $88,000, while their Republican counterparts boast $103,100. Independents sat between the two at $95,200.

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