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Purple power: Liberals outnumber conservatives in Houston, new study says

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3 Pride Parade Houston June 2014 Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard
With a city that leans liberal, it's not surprising that Houston would elect a lesbian mayor. Photo by Dalton DeHart
President Barack Obama speaking in East Room White House January 2014
The city of Houston narrowly voted for President Obama in the 2012 election. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin
Rick Perry wearing cowboy boots and a suit
Gov. Rick Perry consistently draws a smaller percentage of votes in Houston and other major Texas cities than he does in rural areas of the state. GOP12.thehill.com
3 Pride Parade Houston June 2014 Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard
President Barack Obama speaking in East Room White House January 2014
Rick Perry wearing cowboy boots and a suit

Thanks in large part to former President George W. Bush and the high profile of Gov. Rick Perry, Texas is generally viewed as overwhelmingly conservative. But a new study profiled by The Economist shows that when it comes to big cities, Texas can lean liberal.

The study, created by Chris Warshaw of MIT and Chris Tausanovitch from UCLA, takes into account seven different surveys to try and determine if big cities are responsive when it comes to the views of their citizens. According to the findings, cities do tend to mirror their constituents' views, meaning big cities have more liberal legislation. 

Houston sits in about the middle of the pack of U.S. cities, with a slightly more liberal than conservative bent. 

Of the 67 cities listed on the national chart, seven of the eight Texas cities rated as either split on the conservative/liberal spectrum or on the liberal side of the aisle.

Naturally, Austin took home the distinction as the most liberal big city in Texas, falling in near-lockstep with Philadelphia and St. Louis. Dallas and Houston were the next most-liberal locales in the Lone Star State.  Houston sits in about the middle of the pack of U.S. cities, with a slightly more liberal than conservative bent. The only big city considered truly conservative was Arlington.  

This isn't much of a surprise, considering Barack Obama was the clear favorite in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio during the 2012 presidential election. Obama still lost the overall Texas vote handily, but big cities weren't the reason why.

As the cities get smaller in Texas, conservatism tends to win out. The most conservative city in Texas is Amarillo, followed by Plano, Wichita Falls, Mesquite and Abilene. 

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