For years, conservatives have invoked crime in blue states and cities to convince suburban voters that Democratic leadership goes hand-in-hand with increased crime rates.
Ahead of the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump used thinly-veiled racist and sexist dogwhistles to tell "suburban housewives" that expanded housing options would bring crime to their neighborhoods. Even more than a year after Trump vacated the White House, conservative media continues to invoke images of cities burning, describing cities from New York to Portland as anarchistic hellholes.
But new data from the think tank Third Way paints a much more complex picture in its examination and comparison between violent crime rates in states that vote Republican and those that vote Democratic. The data was compiled from the most recent annual crime reports released by state governments.
According to Third Way, eight of the 10 states with the highest murder rates voted for Republican nominees in every presidential election since 2000. What's more, states that voted for Trump in the 2020 election had a per capita murder rate 40 percent higher than those that went to Biden.
The authors—Kylie Murdock and Jim Kessler—concluded in short:
"The rate of murders in the US has gone up at an alarming rate. But, despite a media narrative to the contrary, this is a problem that afflicts Republican-run cities and states as much or more than the Democratic bastions."
They went on to claim:
"Whether one does or does not blame Republican leaders for high murder rates, it seems that Republican officeholders do a better job of blaming Democrats for lethal crime than actually reducing lethal crime."
Social media users shared the findings across the internet.
Some pondered why it seems so much reporting is on blue state crime.
The blue state crime narrative won't be evaporating for Republicans any time soon.