The objective of this study was to explore the presence of ideological barriers to addressing local health inequalities in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A survey of active citizens revealed low levels of awareness of the social determinants of health (SDOH) framework, and some incongruence between understanding and attitudes towards the SDOH. Support for addressing health inequalities was associated with awareness of the SDOH framework, liberal value-systems, and a cluster of socio-demographic characteristics. Liberal leaning participants were also more politically active than their conservative counterparts. Ideological barriers included lack of SDOH awareness, narrow understandings of the relative influences of the SDOH, resistance to de-prioritizing healthcare, and conservative values. Advancement of a SDOH policy agenda should incorporate wider dissemination efforts to citizens and local service providers to increase support for this framework, and utilization of existing support and political engagement from liberal-leaning demographics.