BEND, OR -- Bend has made it on another nationwide ranking; this time for being in the middle of the political road. Livability.com is out with its annual list of the best places to live for liberals, conservatives and moderates. Bend comes in fourth for moderates.
Former Democratic lawmaker and KBND Political analyst Judy Stiegler isn't surprised. "You’ve got people on the polar opposite side of a variety of issues. But, overall, this area tends to be ‘ok, how can we solve problems.’" Former Republican lawmaker Jason Conger agrees, "I think this area offers a lot for people of different political persuasions."
Researchers noted that Bend tends to vote Republican, yet they also lean liberal on issues like the environment. Conger notes, "So many outdoor activities, it would attract people who are concerned about the environment and about access to outdoor recreation activities." Stiegler adds, "And, preservation of a lot of those areas because that feeds the economy around here, significantly." The website found Bend has an average number of registered Democrats, compared to the rest of the country, but an above average number of Republicans and non-affiliated voters.
No other Oregon city made it into the top ten of any of the three political rankings. Bend came in as the fourth best place for moderates behind Chattanooga, TN, Pocatello, ID and Avondale, AZ.