The ten most conservative cities in California
By Ted Martin, Special to PressCalifornia.com
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Long perceived as a bastion of liberalism and Trump resistance, the Golden State has a rich legacy of conservatism that surprises many.
Besides giving us Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, California today boasts a sizable number of cities – some rich, some middle-class, some on the coast, some in the valleys, some in the desert – where the majority of residents can be described as traditionally minded conservatives.
Want to live on a red island in a state of blue? It can be done. Here are the top ten conservative towns and cities in the Golden State, based on the percentage of voters registered as Republicans or third party conservatives.
Newport Beach – 74 percent
Median Household Income: $107,991
Ever since Captain Samuel Dunnells steered a 100-ton steamer into the bay in 1870, this O.C. port has been a paradise in the making. Great weather, beaches. Fashion Island. Can’t afford the multimillion dollar homes? The two best things are for everyone, the Jazz Fest and Gilligan’s Island lagoon.
Yorba Linda – 73 percent
Median Household Income: $115,994
Founded by the Yorba brothers in the 1830, “the Y.L.” is now one of the richest cities in America. It’s pretty quiet and unpretentious compared to much of Orange County. A young Richard Nixon helped his family deliver milk here. Today it houses his presidential library.
San Clemente – 69 percent
Median Household Income: $91,749
The southernmost city in Orange County before the Camp Pendleton Marine Base is known for its Spanish architecture and excellent beaches, golfing, weather – and surfing. The Beach Boys praise its famous surf break, Trestles, in song.
Temecula – 67.3 percent
Median Household Income: $78,535
North of San Diego and south of Los Angeles, this desert town is quite family friendly. Clean air, lots of Prius cars, baseball and soccer youth leagues and, compared to much of the region, affordable housing. Of note, the surprisingly good wine country.
Murrieta – 67.1 percent
Median Household Income: $74,401
One of the fastest growing cities in the state, this warm desert town near Temecula is largely residential in character. Many San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County commuters live in the so-called “Gem of the Valley.”
Poway – 66 percent
Median Household Income: $96,315
This suburb of San Diego, a mixture of white and blue collar neighborhoods, resembles an Old West town and is called the “City in the Country.” Its high school is known for great sports, especially wrestling, often tops in the state.
Mission Viejo – 65.7 percent
Median Household Income: $98,157
This Orange County settlement of sheep and cattle ranchers was considered too wild to develop, but in the 1980s it became one of the nation’s largest master-planned communities in the nation, with perfect weather, tree-lined streets and high-priced homes.
Rocklin – 65.6 percent
Median Household Income: $79,274
Located in Gold Country in the Placer County hills, this Sacramento suburb has a Mediterranean-like climate with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Many upper middle class retirees live in the town, which has a very low crime rate.
Laguna Niguel – 65.1 percent
Median Household Income: $98,957
In San Joaquin Hills near the coast, this O.C. town’s residents are known for their healthy and active lifestyles. Not too hard to be outside since it’s always sunny in the bedroom community, named the Native American village that once stood here.
Redding – 65 percent
Median Household Income: $43,773
Located near the base of Mt. Shasta, Redding has attracted many wealthy Southern Californians looking for a rural escape. The honorary capital of the liberty-minded “State of Jefferson,” the town boasts the world’s largest sundial, an architectural masterpiece that spans the American River.
Sources: California Office of Secretary of State, U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey.