Report: Murder Rate is Higher in Blue Counties than in Red Ones

A new report from a conservative think tank reveals that the rate of homicides have consistently been higher in Democrat-run counties than Republican-run ones since 2002.

According to Fox News, the report from the Heritage Foundation directly contradicts an unproven claim that has been repeated by many Democrats claiming that the opposite is true. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) recently said that “8 of the top 10 murder states are red,” while far-left billionaire George Soros similarly and falsely claimed that “murder rates have been rising fastest in some Republican states led by tough-on-crime politicians.”

But in the new Heritage report, authored by Kevin Dayaratna and Alexander Gage, debunks this claim by pointing out that the studies which made this assertion – including a study by the left-wing think tank Third Way – simply look at crime on a state-by-state basis rather than on a local level.

“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,” said Dayaratna. “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 continued.

Furthermore, Dayaratna pointed out that studies like Third Way’s failed to take into consideration the political shift of many states in the last 20 years, as some former swing states have now become much more reliably Republican while others have become solidly Democratic.

“Third Way held ‘red’ states and ‘blue’ states constant in terms of how they voted in the 2020 presidential election. This approach is fundamentally flawed because electoral sentiment changed across the time period used for the study,” the report notes.

In response to the new study and the direct criticisms, Third Way released a statement making excuses for its own study’s flaws, claiming without evidence that “data is missing or suppressed for many suburban and rural counties, making a complete county-level analysis impossible.” A Third Way spokesman also justified the failure to update states’ political leanings by saying that they “chose an approach that categorized states consistently across all 21 years,” claiming that “including electoral changes would only increase red state murder rates.”\

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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