As crime rises and videos online show brutality in America’s cities, Democrats – like California Governor Gavin Newsom – have been quick to point out that “8 of the top 10 murder states are red.”
A report from the Heritage Foundation has discovered otherwise.
Kevin Dayaratna, who authored the report, found that crime is a local issue and conducted a crime analysis by county and who controlled those jurisdictions.
What did he find?
That “blue counties” have a higher rate of homicide than local jurisdictions that are controlled by Republicans.
“It is true that red states have higher homicide rates than blue states, but the problem with this is that crime is a hyper-localized phenomenon,” Dayaratna said. “It doesn’t make sense to talk about at the state level. It makes sense to talk about at the local level because that’s where the prosecutions occur. The local level crime is handled at the local level by local police, so when you look at this question on a local basis, namely the county level, you’ll see that the trend is reversed.”
“If you look at the analysis on a state-by-state level, it’s 34% higher in red states and blue states, according to the most recent data we analyzed, but then when you look at it as a county-by-county level, it is 60% higher in blue counties than red counties,” he added.
“Violations of state law are prosecuted largely at the county or city level and, thus, amalgamating data across such units neglects important variation in these different approaches,” the study said.
“Looking at homicide rates by county, states show skewed distributions with many counties having little or no homicides, and a handful of counties with excessively high homicide rates. Thus, state homicide rates can be heavily influenced by a few counties. When those counties have different politics from the rest of the state, it can flip the conclusion about the association between political identifications and homicides.”
“It is undoubtable that this blue county murder problem has been persisting for quite some time,” Dayaratna said in an interview explaining the report. “And it is quite disingenuous for the Third Way to just present the data as they did. We analyze it from a variety of perspectives at the Heritage Foundation. And we wanted to make sure we put out the proper story.”