President Trump, in Tuesday’s Town Hall on ABC, claimed that “in Democrat, usually liberal Democrat-run cities, we have tremendous problems. The top 10 most unsafe cities are run by Democrats.” Trump is correct in his assertion that the top 10 cities for violent crime are run by Democrats.
However, this does not necessarily substantiate Trump’s implication that Democratic mayors have caused their own cities to decay into lawlessness. There appear to be conflating factors that relegate Trump’s causation claim, to one of simple correlation.
64 out of 100 of the largest cities in America are Democratic-controlled, compared to 28 Republican cities in a BBC factcheck. For example, some of the largest Republican cities in America like Lexington, Kentucky are undergoing significant changes like an 84.6% increase in murder rates. Republican cities with high crime rates, such as Lexington, and Jacksonville, Florida, rarely receive the same coverage in the news cycle as violence in Democratic cities, especially on the national stage.
Still, across the conservative world, right-leaning pundits lambast local government in cities such as Minneapolis, New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta for being ineffectual, weak, and unwilling to stop the spread of riots, protest, and crime that resulted from the shooting of George Floyd on May 25th.
The implication that Trump and right-leaning pundits are putting before the American people is that metropolitan cities, especially lower-income, minority neighborhoods are responsible for the riots and increase in violent crime, and the “weak” democratic mayoral governments are allowing an open revolt of America.
However, the cause-and-effect relationship is weakened by the Pew Research Center, which found that people in urban environments were twice as likely to be Democrat-leaning in contrast to Republican-leaning. With the multitude of factors which may impact crime statistics, political leanings are an unreliable source to determine whether a city is violent or not.
We return to our original question, are Democratic Cities more violent? While as a matter of rankings it appears Democratic cities are more violent, as the country is in an unprecedented age of joblessness, social revolution, and fear, the implication that Democrats have caused this spate of city violence is unfounded. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that the blame for rioting and crime falls squarely on the shoulders of Democratic leadership.