Columbia, SC Voting


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Columbia, South Carolina is the state capital and serves as a hub of politics in the Palmetto State. Politically speaking, the city is dominated by Democrats, with registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans nearly two-to-one. Despite this clear majority, the state government remains competitive as Republican governors have held office as recently as 2011. Recent elections have also seen bipartisan support for certain initiatives like improving public education and increasing access to healthcare. In addition to statewide elections, voters in Columbia also participate in local elections for mayor, city council, school board, and other positions of importance. All of these offices are decided through periodic special and general elections held throughout each year. With a strong emphasis on civic engagement and involvement both locally and nationally, citizens of Columbia continue to be engaged in political conversations that impact their city and state.

The political climate in Columbia, SC is strongly liberal.

Richland County, SC is very liberal. In Richland County, SC 68.4% of the people voted Democrat in the last presidential election, 30.1% voted for the Republican Party, and the remaining 1.5% voted Independent.

In the last Presidential election, Richland county remained overwhelmingly Democratic, 68.4% to 30.1%.
Richland county voted Democratic in every Presidential election since 2000.

The BestPlaces liberal/conservative index

Columbia, SC is strongly liberal.

Richland County, South Carolina is very liberal.

Columbia Metro Area is leaning liberal.

South Carolina is somewhat conservative.

The BestPlaces liberal/conservative index is based on recent voting in national elections, federal campaign contributions by local residents, and consumer personality profiles.

Displaying 20 years of Presidential voting, visualized in one word.

Columbia, South Carolina: D D D D D D

How It Works:
Here at BestPlaces, we were looking at the voting patterns since the 2000 election and realized that we could express the results of each election as one letter. R if the Republican Party candidate won, D if the Democratic Party candidate won and I if the Independent Party candidate won. The six elections (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) would be expressed as six-letter word (R R D R R).

Then we went a little further and added the dimension of magnitude. If the difference of victory was greater than 10 percent, the letter is upper case, and lower case if the difference was less than 10 percent. This allows us to see interesting voting patterns at just a glance.

Here's the VoteWord for Iowa d r d d r. In the last six elections the state has been closely contested, voting narrowly for the Republican Party candidate in 2016 and 2020 after voting for the Democratic Party in 2008 and 2012. Virginia (r r d d d D) has voted for the Democratic Party in the last three elections.

Individual Campaign Contributions in Columbia, SC

In the last 4 years (2018-2021), there were 27,065 contributions totaling $2,540,393 to the Democratic Party and liberal campaigns, averaging $94 per contribution.

In the last 4 years, there were 6,750 contributions totaling $2,248,628 to the Republican Party and conservative campaigns, averaging $333 per contribution.

(source: Federal Election Commission)

Richland County, South Carolina Politics Voting
Richland County, South Carolina Politics Voting
Richland County, South Carolina Politics Voting History
Reviews for Columbia
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Over 1 years ago

I love living in Columbia! I recently graduated from USC and plan to stay. I read the reviews posted here and it shows that like many cities, your experience will depend  More

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Loved living in Columbia, SC prior to my job transfer. It's the perfect size - plenty to do, but still a laid back place. People are extremely friendly, there are  More

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I moved to Columbia for graduate school and although it is a giant step up from my small, out-of-state hometown, I became bored and restless here in less than a year.  More

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