In an article entitled, “Trump keeps claiming that the most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats. They aren’t,” the Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump claimed that Trump has made some false claims.
The irony? The fact check completely supported Trump’s claims.
The article was meant to prove Trump wrong. Trump’s claim was that the 20 most violent cities in the U.S. are all Democratic-run.
Mr. Bump set out to prove this theory wrong.
(I’ll link the original WashingtonPost article at the bottom of the page.)
This is a direct quote from Trump at a press briefing last Wednesday;
“You hear about certain places like Chicago and you hear about what’s going on in Detroit and other — other cities, all Democrat run,” he said. “Every one of them is Democrat run. Twenty out of 20. The 20 worst, the 20 most dangerous are Democrat run.”
Here’s Bump’s response to the data I’ll post below:
It’s not clear how Trump is defining “most dangerous” in this context. So let’s look at two related sets of data compiled by the FBI: most violent crime and most violent crime per capita.
The most recent data to that effect is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report covering the first half of 2019. The cities with the most violent crimes are many of the most populous cities in the country, as you might expect. Those with the highest rates of violent crime are from a range of different states.
Most of the current mayors of these cities are Democrats. Two of the mayors of cities with the most reported violent crimes overall, though, are independents and one, the mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., is a Republican. Among the 20 cities with the most violent crime per capita, one isn’t a Democrat: the independent mayor of Springfield, Mo.
So 17/20 of the cities with the most violent crimes reported are Democrat-run, two and independent, and one is Republican.
The second metric he used, “per capita,” only has 1/20 that is not a Democrat.
Here are his graphs.
The writer goes on to make some statements that explain where he is going – but don’t really validate the title of the article.
Trump would no doubt shrug at that detail, decrying as “fake news” the revelation that his assertion was only slightly wrong. And, in fairness, it actually doesn’t matter that four of the 32 cities listed above have non-Democratic mayors — because it doesn’t really matter that the other mayors are Democrats.
Cities generally have more crime than suburban and rural areas. That’s been true for decades if not centuries and is true across the planet. The connection has been the focus of repeated research. In other words, if it were the case that cities were also more prone to elect members of one party over another, it might seem as though the most crime-riddled places in America were a function of leadership from that party.
While Philip may have a point, he still invalidated hir original claim. Here’s his final statements:
Since there’s a correlation between size and amount of crime and between size and propensity to vote Democratic, it’s problematic to draw a causal relationship between crime and Democratic leadership. It may be the case that cities with more crime are more likely to have Democratic leaders. Such a comparison, though, is fraught, relying on the validity of reported crime data, the metric used to establish which cities are included in the analysis, the time period under consideration and so on.
Read the full Washington Post article here.
What do you think? Is it because the cities are led by Democrats, or they just happen to be more violent anyway?
Let me know in the comments below. I read them all.