Left Coast

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Election results from the 2016 Presidential election by state, showing California, Oregon, and Washington as being "Blue States" (those that voted for the more socially liberal Democratic Party), and Alaska as being a "Red State" (those that voted for the more socially conservative Republican Party).
Election results from the 2016 Presidential election by county

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 with the exception of Alaska, the states of California, Oregon, and Washington tend to vote for the Democratic Party, particularly in Coastal California, the Eugene and Portland metropolitan areas in Oregon, and the Puget Sound region in Washington. Also, it means that most people who live in the West Coast region have a generally more liberal or progressive attitude than the rest of the country. The phrase plays on the fact that the U.S. West Coast is on the left of the continental states when viewing a map with north oriented at the top.[1] The term also applies to British Columbia's place in Canada, for the same reasons.[2]

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 puts down Hollywood celebrities and their scandals as well as providing conservative political commentary.[3] 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.[4] Writer, voiceover actor, and gay rights activist Ben Patrick Johnson calls his video blog Life on the Left Coast.[5] Fundraiser and CEO of San Francisco-based nonprofit Tides, Drummond Pike, maintains a CEO blog entitled Notes from the Left Coast.[6]


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.[7]

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'..."[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hyslop, Stephen G. (April 5, 1996). Political Geography of the United States. Guilford Press. p. 65-68.
  2. ^ Francis, Daniel. "Far Out on the Left Coast: British Columbia's Sense of Isolation and Belonging". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  3. ^ James Hirsen's Left Coast Report website Archived 2003-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Today on Ted Rall - Comics by Ted Rall - GoComics". www.gocomics.com. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  5. ^ Ben Patrick Johnson's video blog, Life on the Left Coast Archived 2008-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Notes from the Left Coast Archived 2009-07-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "America's Next Decade - Forbes". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Left Coast T-Shirt Co, San Luis Obispo, Screenprinting, Embroidery, Promotional Products". www.leftcoasttees.com. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Routledge Welcomes Left Coast Press - Routledge". Routledge.com. Retrieved 6 September 2018.

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