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Will the GOP’s big party in Tampa, Fla., pay dividends?

4 min read


The focus of the U.S. political world shifts to Florida this week as Mitt Romney heads to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where he is expected to become the Republican Party’s official nominee for president. The Republican Party chose Florida for the convention because it is a battleground state in the race for the White House. But will the decision to bring the Grand Old Party to Tampa pay dividends?

The map and data below tell the story of the political makeup of the Tampa area before the convention. Will an up-close view of the GOP, along with the other factors that undoubtedly will surface throughout the remainder of the campaign, sway residents of the Tampa area to vote for more liberal or more conservative candidates? We’ll be sure to check back after Nov. 6 to see what the election results reveal.

What type of people live in Tampa? What do we know about them?

Tampa is in west-central Florida. The Tampa Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 2.8 million people. Here are some key stats about Tampa.



Median Age



% Male / % Female



Median Income



% Hispanic Population



Median Home Value



The residents of Tampa are overall considered slightly more conservative than the average American. Using a market-potential index by Esri, a company for geographic-information systems that also does data analysis, demonstrates:

Market Potential Variable


Consider self very conservative


Consider self somewhat conservative


Consider self middle of the road


Consider self somewhat liberal


Consider self very liberal


A resident of Tampa is 5% more likely than the average American to consider himself very conservative and 3% more likely to consider himself somewhat conservative. A resident of Tampa is slightly less likely than the average American to consider himself either somewhat liberal or very liberal. The map below illustrates how those political views are dispersed throughout the Tampa area according to ZIP code.

Esri also developed the Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The top tapestry segments for the Tampa metropolitan statistical area:

Tapestry Segment

% Adults

Senior Sun Seekers


Up and Coming Families


Rust Belt Traditions


The Elders


Rust Belt Retirees




Aspiring Young Families


Silver and Gold


Midland Crowd


Milk and Cookies


Residents of the Senior Sun Seekers tapestry segment have a median age of 51.8 years and have a median household income of $35,560. Many are retired or are anticipating retirement. More than half of the households receive Social Security benefits. Because a large proportion of the population is older, the education attainment is far lower than the U.S. levels.

Tapestry segments are formed out of two other segments: LifeMode and Urbanization. LifeMode summery groups are characterized by lifestyle and life stage and share an experience such as being born in the same time period or a trait such as affluence. Urbanization summary groups in Tapestry Segmentation provide a broader view of U.S. markets based on geographic and physical features and income. While there are not any dominant Urbanization groups in Tampa, there is a dominant LifeMode group. Not surprisingly. Senior Styles comprises 31% of households in Tampa.

Why does this matter?

Understanding the types of Americans who live in an area can help candidates target their campaigns and even messaging. Knowing local issues, the demographic makeup of an area, political leanings or what types of activities interest residents can help candidates find supporters — and help them be in a better position win an election.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at To learn more about Esri in general, go to