Murder totals rose in many areas again this past year. Some “blue” cities, like Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, have seen real and persistent increases in homicides. These cities — along with others like Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis — are in places with wall-to-wall media coverage and national media interest. A piece of the homicide story that is missing and calls into question the veracity of the right-wing obsession over homicides in Democratic cities, says the think tank Third Way. Murder rates are far higher in Trump-voting red states than Biden-voting blue states. Sometimes, murder rates are highest in cities with Republican mayors.
Jacksonville, Fl., a city with a Republican mayor, had 128 more murders in 2020 than San Francisco, a city with a Democrat mayor, despite their comparable populations. The homicide rate in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco was half that of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, a city with a Republican mayor that overwhelmingly voted for Trump. There is barely a whisper, let alone an outcry, over the stunning levels of murders in these and other places. Third Way found that murder rates are, on average, 40 percent higher in the 25 states President Trump won in the last presidential election compared to those that voted for Joe Biden. In addition, murder rates in many red states dwarf those in blue states like New York, California, and Massachusetts. Many states with the worst murder rates — like Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Arkansas — are not urban. Only two of the top 100 cities in population are located in these high murder rate states.