Aerial view of Myrtle beach South Carolina

12 Most Liberal Cities in South Carolina

Most Liberal Cities in South Carolina

When we think of South Carolina, images of sweeping southern graciousness, luscious barbecue delight, and heritage coolness often hit our minds. However, the Palmetto State boasts such a robust political trench that several urban centers show surprising liberal tendencies. This article will discuss  the 12 most liberal cities in South Carolina. arranged in ascending order, with number one being the most liberal.

Each city will be scrutinized based on the factors such as the voting patterns in past elections, demographic data, policies on social issues, and the presence of liberal-minded institutions. This will help present an overview of how diverse and progressive these cities are in South Carolina.

For the most liberal cities in the state of Maryland, click here.

12. North Charleston

The third-largest city in the state is North Charleston which will start off our list of the 12 most liberal cities in South Carolina. The city at which Charleston Southern University is located is famous for its rich cultural history and has a moderately liberal political climate. While it doesn’t swing heavily into liberalism, there’s a notable progressive shift, particularly among its younger population.

This diverse population has helped to push many of the policies that support social justice, affordable housing, and climate change initiatives. For example, joining the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” renewable energy initiative proves that in 2019, North Charleston was willing to sign on to progressive environmental policies. This dedication, coupled with its community growing more inclusive provides hints that there is a liberal perspective rising within North Charleston itself.

11. Spartanburg

Next on the list of the most liberal cities in South Carolina is Spartanburg, known as the ‘Hub City’. Spartanburg may not immediately represent liberalism, but over the years this city has been experiencing a quiet political transformation. Numerous colleges and universities become known as a hub for education and arts. Education and arts are on the mind for enlightenment and innovation, fostering an environment favorable for liberalism.

For example, Wofford College, located in Spartanburg, regularly hosts lectures and programs which promote progressive ideas, impacting the city’s broader ideological landscape. Spartanburg’s focus on developing its downtown area, improving urban living, and promoting inclusion points more toward a liberal direction than conservative.

10. Rock Hill

The city was consequently a hotspot for Civil Rights moves due to its significant connection with the splendid movement concerning racial equality: the Civil Rights Movement. Nowadays, San Francisco is adamantly committed to diverse and egalitarian values since these are what define San Francisco.

Rock Hill demonstrates how committed the city council has been toward seeking out racial disparity, as well as advancing a more inclusive community for all its constituents. Winthrop University, which is often overlooked within many other South Carolina towns and cities, frequently promotes liberalism within Rock Hill by hosting events geared toward topics like social justice along with sustainability.

9. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastline, has been displaying increasing liberal leanings in recent years. In contrast, the city’s tourism industry may not necessarily reflect its political ideology, but its stance on environmental protection and other progressive causes does.

An example is seen in the city’s approach to beach conservation, embracing strict rules relative to littering, and on board with sustainability. The city’s acceptance of LGBTQ+ events like the Myrtle Beach Pride parade also expresses its liberal outlook within the seafront community.

The journey continues through 12 most liberal cities in South Carolina, each with its unique path to liberalism. We delve more into the remaining cities at the end of this section exploring how they help contribute to the political picture of South Carolina.

8. Summerville

Summerville is a city known for its sweet tea and Southern hospitality. Although Summerville’s progressive tendencies might not be immediately apparent, its increasing support for social issues and sustainability programs is notable.

The most obvious example is the city’s massive recycling program, which has been taken seriously by its administration and citizens alike. Dorchester Habitat for Humanity among local nonprofits growing shows that Summerville shifts to progressive social policies as well.

7. Greenville

Next is Greenville, a city that has been progressively embracing liberal ideologies. As one of the fastest-growing cities in South Carolina, Greenville’s demographics have shifted dramatically, fueling major political shifts. For example, the revitalization of Falls Park on the Reedy is a cornerstone of green liberalism and sustainable development. Also, the boom of Greenville’s arts and culture develops from music festivals and exhibits featuring painting and sculpture, all models of liberal cities.

6. Mount Pleasant

This town is one of the richest communities in the state, but politicians stereotype it as a conservative one.

Mount Pleasant’s commitment to the environment through environmental conservation as highlighted by its Comprehensive Plan of Sustainable Growth is a clear indication of its liberal inclinations. Also, there is this talk on racial and social justice within the town that hints at an impending liberal stance within it.

5. West Columbia

Up next on the list is West Columbia, lying on the banks of the Congaree River. West Columbia’s rising trendiness comes as no surprise when one considers its cultural diversity and dedication to affordable housing and public amenities.

For instance, improvements within the initiative of improving affordable housing options through the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program in the city demonstrate a level of commitment to progressive policy implementation. Secondly, West Columbia overall depicts a city embracing multiculturalism through its diverse dining cultural setting with multiple ethnic offerings reflective of different nationalities at ease amongst themselves and comfortable with their differences.

Each of these final four cities reinforces the political diversity found within South Carolina.

4. Beaufort

Moving up through our 12 most liberal cities in South Carolina list, we find Beaufort, a city that combines southern charm and progressive thought. The city still holds onto its historic legacy, but the call for leaning left hasn’t been ignored, resulting in a welcoming and diverse community.

The Beaufort International Film Festival is just one example of a liberal tendency personified in Beaufort. The festival exhibits an array not only of films but also documentary programs promoting social justice and diversity as well. This makes Beaufort an excellent place to live for black families too. Also, environmental efforts in Beaufort like the extensive preservation of its sea islands demonstrate a commitment to progressive ecological policies.

Read on for the three most blue cities in South Carolina.

3. Charleston

Charleston comfortably ranks third on our list. The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston boasts both historical architecture and a stunning food scene. This intriguing college town also stands out for its increasingly liberal lean.

In the last decade, the city has made progress in addressing climate change through the development of a Climate Action Plan that sets ambitious sustainability goals. Moreover, great devotion has been demonstrated by the city towards LGBTQ+ rights annually through the Charleston Pride Festival. Such initiatives illustrate the city’s progressive side, making it one of South Carolina’s most liberal cities.

2. Columbia

Among the ’12 most liberal cities in South Carolina’ is Columbia, the state capital. Columbia embodies a rainbow of different cultural conflated together with progressive ideologies and geographical position as a university town to an extent.

The university influences the city in being very liberal, having regular social justice, diversity events, and equal opportunity initiative. On top of that, Columbia shows that they are a progressively enlightened city through their commitment to renewable energy since they participate in the Green Power program quite heavily seen at the games board to show their dedication to renewable energy.

1. Folly Beach

Finally, we arrive at Folly Beach, the most liberal city in South Carolina. Known as ‘The Edge of America,’ this small beach town might come as a surprise to many. However, Folly Beach’s strong support for environmental conservation, along with its open and inclusive community, firmly places it at the top.

Folly Beach is the most liberal city in South Carolina, and many could not imagine that a small beach town such as this was the ‘The Edge of America. ’ However, Folly Beach boasts strong support for environmental conservation and an inclusive community, a strength which places it head-and-shoulders above others.

The city’s ban on styrofoam and plastic bags, as well as its strong beach preservation effort, exemplify this commitment to environmental sustainability, one of the key progressive issues. Moreover, Pride events held in Folly Beach visualize its reputation as the most liberal city in South Carolina.


From North Charleston to Folly Beach, this list of the 12 most liberal cities in South Carolina reveals the fascinating political diversity within the state. Each city has its own approaches to progressive issues and policies, which are reflected in the entire political landscape of South Carolina. As these cities continue to grow with development and extend further as time starts moving further, they influence these things during that period.

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