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New Map: San Francisco Is Literally Liberal to the Core, More Moderate at the Edges

Let's play "How Liberal Is Your 'Hood?"!


You don’t need a weathervane to tell you which way San Francisco's political winds blow. They blow to the left—hard. But the gradations of blue within the city's neighborhoods are nonetheless telling. To create the map above, civic tech startup Crowdpac used political donation data going back decades to score each of San Francisco's neighorhoods on its relative level of liberalism.

The Castro and Corona Heights come out on top (or bottom, if you’re Ted Cruz), followed by a cluster of neighborhoods in the center of the city, from the Mission and Bernal Heights to Hayes Valley, Western Addition, and—of course—Haight Ashbury. The resulting pattern forms a near perfect circle, proving once and for all that San Francisco is a crunchy liberal donut surrounding a soft, even more liberal center.

Like the map we wrote about last Friday plotting the politics of the city’s major players, this new map measures not the declared politics of residents, but the flow of their money in support of candidates and ballot measures. The more liberal the candidate or cause residents throw money at, the darker blue the neighborhood. As far as we can tell, the line between "liberal"—which describes Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, and Nob Hill—and "very liberal"—NoPa, Noe Valley, and Glen Park—falls somewhere north of 8.0 on Crowdpac's 1-to-10 scale. (As you might expect, no one’s conservative enough for the map to even register the lightest shade of rose, but the conservative end of the scale does exist, Crowdpac assures us.)

If the Marina were transplanted inland, it might qualify as the most liberal part of Reno, but here it’s one of the most conservative, with a score of 4.8. The Financial District is just slightly more right-leaning, with a score of 4.7. You can drill down into each neighborhood’s precise scores with Crowdpac’s neighborhood lookup tool. Click through to the neighborhood-by-neighborhood data, and you'll see your area's nearby political kin: The Inner Sunset (7.6) is less liberal than Alamo Square (8.4) but more liberal than Downtown/Union Square (6.6). And the Mission (8.8) is more liberal than Duboce Triangle (8.6), which is more liberal than Glen Park (8.4). Glen Park is, incidentially, more liberal than its most famous resident, Mayor Ed Lee.


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