What Is North Dakota's Most Liberal City?


North Dakota is a pretty Republican state. We’ve had a Republican governor since 1992, and a Republican supermajority in the state Legislature since 1994 (yes, twenty years now). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some pockets of liberalism.

Clarity Campaign Labs, a left-wing group that works with Democrat campaign data, has what they call TargetSmart data which they say can tell you which communities which are the most like your politics after you answer a quiz with questions about abortion, global warming, guns, religion, and taxes.

There’s also a question about whether or not you prefer to live in an urban area.

You can take it here.

What’s interesting is that if we answer all the questions in certain ways, we can determine (based on this data, anyway) the most liberal and conservative cities in North Dakota. I did that, and changed my answer on the urban preference question to get an urban area and a rural area, and here’s what I found:

North Dakota’s Most Liberal Urban City: Fargo

This surprised me. I would have said Grand Forks is more liberal than Fargo based on the legislative delegations each municipal area sends to Bismarck, but then I think there is a political shift in Fargo. Republicans talk about it. They’re worried about it. North Dakota’s most populous city is getting more left-wing, and that’s not a good thing for Republicans hoping to win statewide elections.

Anyway, here’s how Fargo breaks down on the issues. Grand Forks came in second on the list, and third was the…Minot Air Force Base? A lot of times the military is seen as being pretty conservative, but I’m not sure that’s always the case these days.


North Dakota’s Most Liberal Rural City: Fort Yates

No big surprise here. Not only is North Dakota’s most rural liberal city on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, every community on the list is a Native American.

North Dakota’s reservations are pockets of liberal voters that reliably vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers.

Here’s how Fort Yates breaks down on the issues:


North Dakota’s Most Conservative Urban City: Bismarck

This one seems counterintuitive. Usually a seat of government, given that the biggest local industry is government, is pretty liberal. After all, government workers tend to like higher taxes to pay for more government. And they tend not to be as skeptical of the power of government – power they wield – than the general public.

Even so, it seems Bismarck is the most conservative urban area in North Dakota, and that’s certainly born out by the┬álegislative representation from the area which is solidly Republican.

West Fargo came in second on the list. Here’s how Bismarck broke down on the issues:


North Dakota’s Most Conservative Rural City: Dickey

The first question you may be asking about North Dakota’s most conservative rural city is…where is it? Dickey is south of Jamestown, and the people there are pretty darn conservative.

You’ll probably ask the same question about the rest of the cities on the list – Antler, Fredonia, etc. – but they’re small communities spread all over the state, and are collectively the reason why North Dakota keeps electing Republicans.

Here’s the breakdown of issues in Dickey: