If you asked people to name the most conservative city in the country, most would probably name a city in the South.
But according to a study published in the American Political Science Review, the most conservative city in the country is Mesa, Arizona, followed by Oklahoma City. In fact, a majority of the study's most conservative cities are out west, and the top 10 include some surprises.
To arrive at their list of most conservative and liberal cities, researchers from UCLA and MIT studied the municipal governments of cities with populations over 250,000.
They examined the taxing and spending policies of these city governments and compared those results to residents' policy preferences. They found that city governments actually do listen to what their residents want: Citizens' preferences were highly determinative of city policies. And since local governments tend to be more responsive, the researchers determined that cities with conservative residents tend to have lower taxes and lower government spending, while cities with liberal residents tend to tax and spend more.
More liberal cities "spend more than twice as much per capita, have higher taxes per capita, and have less regressive tax systems than the most conservative cities, the study found," as noted by the Washington Post.
For instance, the most liberal city in the study is San Francisco, where taxes are $2,996 per capita, and $6,031 is spent per capita. Mesa, the most conservative city, taxes and spends $390 and $1,490 per capita, respectively.
So, conservatives, if lower taxes and lower spending are what you're looking for, check out these 10 cities, which the study ranks as the most conservative in the U.S. You can find the full list of both liberal and conservative cities here.
1. Mesa, Arizona
2. Oklahoma City
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia
4. Colorado Springs, Colorado
5. Jacksonville, Florida
6. Arlington, Texas
7. Anaheim, California
8. Omaha, Nebraska
9. Tulsa, Oklahoma
10. Aurora, Colorado