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Most Popular Cities: Detroit Nation's Least Popular, Seattle Best-Liked

Posted: 04/20/2012 5:16 pm Updated: 04/21/2012 7:06 pm

Detroit's never really been one for popularity contests -- and now it seems we've completely lost the game.

A new poll from Public Policy Polling names Detroit America's least popular city, out of 21 major metropolises. Only 22 percent of respondents saw the Motor City favorably, and 49 percent had a negative view.

Those who voted for President Obama in 2008 were twice as likely to view Detroit favorably as those who voted for John McCain, but the "very liberal" and the "very conservative" are almost just as likely to hate the D (47 and 53 percent unfavorable, respectively).

Women like Detroit better than men (maybe not surprising, given our D+ ranking as a "great city for single men"). Nearly half of whites and Hispanics said Detroit made them think "unfavorable!" and 40 percent of blacks agreed.

More people like our midwest sister cities Chicago (42 favorable to 33 unfavorable) and Cleveland (32 to 25). Joining Detroit at the bottom: Oakland, Calif., (we can see that -- the East Bay has a similar reputation to Detroit, after all) and Los Angeles (this seems like more of an anti-Beautiful People vote).

Seattle was ranked most popular, with 57 percent finding the land of Starbucks and Microsoft a favorable place. Some people like Seattle so much they're just marrying it -- well, one woman got hitched to a Seattle warehouse. (See video below.)

Fellow Pacific Northwest urban center Portland came in a close second (52 percent favorable), we're sure solely thanks to "Portlandia." But we're not bitter.

Boston (52-17) and Atlanta (51-19) were the only other cities at least half of respondents felt good about. Maybe these survey-takers just hate urban America?

Check out the full list of popular and unpopular cities below. What do you think: Does Seattle deserve to top this list? Does Detroit belong at the bottom? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Seattle, Wash.

    Seattle tops Public Policy Polling's list: "57% of American voters see Seattle favorably and only 14% unfavorably."

  • Portland, Ore.

    Portland keeps a close tail on Seattle, 52 percent favorable to 12 percent unfavorable. Yes, only 12 percent of Americans dislike "Portlandia."

  • Boston, Mass.

    It's one of America's oldest cities, but people still like Boston. 52 percent are pro Beantown, while just 17 percent are against.

  • Atlanta, Ga.

    Hotlanta wins over more than half (51 percent), but 19 percent have clearly never listened to T.I.'s "Rubberband Man."

  • Phoenix, Ariz.

    49 percent would throw Phoenix a tickertape parade, but 18 percent have no interest in desert air.

  • Dallas, Texas

    Popularity isn't that much bigger in Dallas, apparently, with a 48-21 favorable/unfavorable rating.

  • New York City

    A lot of people like New York (49 percent), but a lot dislike the Big Apple, too (23 percent).

  • New Orleans, La.

    We get that the Big Easy is easy to love (47 percent do), but 24 percent disagree.

  • Houston, Texas

    Houston is also <a href="" target="_hplink">the fattest city in America</a> -- so maybe there's more to love for the 45 percent who like it (22 percent don't).

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

    43 percent feel good about Salt Lake City, 20 percent prefer freshwater.

  • Philadelphia, Pa.

    Philly fans aren't rare (42 percent) and haters aren't that noticeable (22 percent).

  • San Francisco, Calif.

    Never a shy one for controversy, San Francisco rubs nearly half of voters the right way (48 percent) and a full 29 percent just can't stand it.

  • Baltimore, Md.

    Only 37 percent like Baltimore, with its somewhat gnarly reputation, but then only 24 percent dislike it. Everyone else has seen "The Wire" and can't decide between a love of the show and feeling weird about condoning the violence and corruption it portrays.

  • Las Vegas, Nev.

    43 percent of Americans favor slots, but a full 33 percent disapprove of Sin City. <em>Flickr photo <a href="" target="_hplink">by Dougtone</a>.</em> <em><strong>CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. It is not. We regret the error.</strong></em>

  • Chicago, Ill.

    The Windy City chills one-third of hearts, but 42 percent still like it okay.

  • Cleveland, Ohio

    Only 32 percent agree with Drew Carey that "Cleveland Rocks." A quarter of Americans don't like it at all.

  • Washington, D.C.

    Opinion on the capital is just as divided as Capitol Hill (44-39).

  • Miami, Fla.

    A third hate Miami, and another third (plus 3 percent) love it. The rest are lying on a yacht.

  • Oakland, Calif.

    Oakland is popular with Occupy protesters and 21 percent of respondents, but 39 percent disapprove.

  • Los Angeles, Calif.

    40 percent of Americans loathe Lala Land -- but a third must dream of seeing their names in lights.

  • Detroit, Mich.

    Nobody likes Detroit. Well, only 22 percent of respondents do, while 49 percent hate the Motor City's stinkin' guts.


Filed by Simone Landon  |