Study ranks conservative US cities: Colorado Springs No. 4, Aurora No. 10

Photo: Ballot drop off in Arapahoe CountyColorado Springs is the fourth-most conservative major city in the country, a new study says, while Aurora checks in at 10th-most conservative.

Denver registers as the 20th-most liberal.

So what does it mean? Researchers at MIT and the University of California Los Angeles ranked America's cities of 250,000 and more as part of a study of how responsive municipal governments are to their citizens.


The authors found that cities' policies reflect the views of their constituents. As The Economist explains:

The authors created an ideological score for each city based on how locals responded to survey questions on everything from affordable housing to preschool education. They found that the most ideologically liberal cities end up spending twice per person as much as the most conservative cities, have higher taxes and less regressive tax systems.

The researchers, Chris Warshaw of MIT and Chris Tausanovitch of UCLA, challenge the notion that city governments are non-partisan entities that operate largely outside of the political divide that characterizes state and federal government. They write:

What would be more interesting is to look at the primary core cities (as defined by the Census Bureau) of, say, the largest 50 or 100 metropolitan areas. OKC would probably win out.