Left Coast is a political expression that implies that the West Coast of the United States leans politically to the left or the expression can refer to states that lean politically left. The implication is that the states of California, Oregon, and Washington (particularly, the coastal counties and cities within those states) vote predictably for the Democratic Party, or that the people who live there have a generally more liberal or progressive attitude than the rest of the country. The phrase plays on the fact that the west coast of the US is on the left of the contiguous 48 states when viewing a map with north oriented at the top.
In the United States, the expression is used pejoratively by right-leaning people, but proudly by people on the left. Conservative NewsMax.com columnist James Hirsen writes the "Left Coast Report", which humorously puts down Hollywood celebrities and their scandals as well as providing conservative political commentary. He has also written a book, Tales from the Left Coast: True Stories of Hollywood Stars and Their Outrageous Politics. On the other side, the term is used by cartoonist Ted Rall as the name of his left-leaning political comic strip. Writer, voiceover actor, and gay rights activist Ben Patrick Johnson calls his video blog Life on the Left Coast. Fundraiser and CEO of San Francisco-based nonprofit Tides, Drummond Pike, maintains a CEO blog entitled Notes from the Left Coast.
The term is also used in a neutral or non-political sense. The left coast has by far the most workers in STEM professions and will continue to be a leading tech hub for the United States. The gross product of the left coast was approximately $1.2 trillion.
In Canada, the coastal strip of British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, is also referred to as the Left Coast. The use of the term "left coast" is not usually pejorative. For example, at the Order of British Columbia Investiture of painter Edward John Hughes, by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Iona Campagnolo in April 2006, she stated, "We have all occasionally heard of our beloved coast dismissed as the 'wet coast', the 'left' coast, even the 'rain coast', yet for most of us, these are 'terms of endearment'..."
- Cascadia (independence movement)
- Coastal California
- History of the west coast of North America
- Western alienation in Canada