Facing voter backlash to rising crime, leading Democrats have sought to shift blame to the GOP, but the facts don’t support their narrative.
While crime data is messy, one trend is clear: The most dangerous places in America are Democrat-run cities.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
On MSNBC Sunday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul dismissed widespread concerns about crime in “blue states” like hers as a “conspiracy” by Republican “data deniers.”
- In fact, said Hochul — echoing other prominent Democrats, like President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom — it is Republican states that have the highest “frequency”of murders, due to their looser gun laws.
- “The safer places are the Democratic states,” she claimed.
- Hochul’s comments came as Republicans have threatened to turn the midterm elections into a reckoning for her and other Democrats over years-long and apparently ongoing surge in violent crime.
WHAT THE FACTS PROVE
The exact causes of violent crime have proved famously difficult to nail down: The statistics are incomplete, the variables are confounding and the politics are overheated.
- No link has been shown between progressive prosecutors and crime, for example.
However, recent evidence has all but debunked the assertions by Hochul and other Democrats that “red states” are more violent than “blue states.”
- From last summer to this summer, murder rates rose significantly less in the handful of big cities with Republican mayors, according to a new WalletHub analysis of U.S. Census and local police data.
- In 2021, violent crimes other than murders were less than half as common in rural areas, which are overwhelmingly governed by Republicans, than in urban areas, per the Justice Department’s 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey.
- And 10 of the 11 U.S. cities with the highest murder rates in 2019 had Democratic mayors, and the other city, Syracuse, New York, was governed by an Independent, FBI data showed.
THE LAST WORD
In a column last week, The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen summarized the methodological flaws with a widely-cited March study by Third Way, a Democratic think tank, titled “The Red State Murder Problem.”
- The study concluded that contrary to “the right-wing obsession over homicides in Democratic cities: murder rates are far higher in Trump-voting red states than Biden-voting blue states.”
- “One problem with that,” Thiessen wrote. “In most of these red states, the high murder rates are driven by the lethal violence in their blue cities. …”
- “To argue, as Third Way does, that ‘murder rates are actually higher in Republican, Trump-voting states’ — without pointing out that those rates are driven by the slaughter taking place in Democratic-voting blue cities — is intentionally misleading.”