Earlier today we took a brief look at reporting on a pair of focus groups meant to gage why core Democratic voting blocs are unhappy with Biden and congressional Democrats. Front and center was "a preoccupation with inflation and crime." In yesterday's post, we referenced Bernie's Budget Committee hearing and its response to spiraling costs: "Across every major industry, prices continue to rise-- this includes a 38% increase in the price of gasoline, a 44% increase in the price of heating oil, a 41% increase in the price of a used car, a 24% in the price of rental cars, and a 17% increase in the price of furniture. Further, Tyson Foods recently increased beef prices by 32%, the price of chicken by 20% and the price of pork by 13%. As prices increase, corporate profits hit a record high of nearly $3 trillion in 2021, up 25% in a single year. This level of corporate greed has only widened the gap between the top one percent and the working class. In 2020, CEOs of the top firms in the U.S., on average, made nearly 350 times more than the median worker. As corporations increase costs for working families, many are rewarding their shareholders with stock buybacks and their CEOs with massive compensation packages."
Today, let's look at the other component of that top worry: crime. A new study from a conservative Democratic group shows that despite a concerted Republican effort-- largely successful-- to blame rising crime stats on Democrats, crime is rising in Republican areas much more rapidly than in Democratic areas. Generally speaking, states that supported Trump had the highest murder rates in the country. The half dozen states with the highest per capita murder rates are all VERY red. Each one voted for Trump by an abnormally large margin. These are the 6 states you're most likely to be murdered in-- if you don't die of COVID first:
Mississippi (20.50 per capital murder rate), 57.6% Trump
Louisiana (15.79 per capital murder rate), 58.5% Trump
Kentucky (14.32 per capital murder rate), 62.1% Trump
Alabama (14.20 per capital murder rate), 62.0% Trump
Missouri (14.00 per capital murder rate), 56.8% Trump
South Carolina (10.72 per capital murder rate), 55.1% Trump
The survey shows that the average murder rate is 40% higher in Trump-voting states and that from 2019 to 2020 murder rates increased faster in Trump states than in states where normal people live. The biggest increase in the murder rate came in the most Trump-oriented state in America, Wyoming, where they're all killing each other, albeit not quite fast enough, The increase in the murder rate was 91.7% in Wyoming-- a state that gave Trump 69.9% of it's vote, obviously a pathologically sick place where most people need intense psychiatric care. Take Crook County, which wasn't named for Trump-- 88.6% of the voters went for Trump. I spent almost have an hour trying to find the average IQ in Crook County but I couldn't . Educational attainment is extremely low and only 11.9% of the residents have college degrees. Just 51% of Wyoming residents are fully vaccinated one of the lowest in the country, and in Crook County that vaccination rated drops precipitously to 31%, the lowest in the state. It's likely that the average IQ of a Crook County resident is below 90, making it extremely difficult for any abstract thought to exist there. There may be 3 Black families in the county, whose population is 97.9% white. The per capita income for the county is $17,379 and around 10% of the residents live below the poverty level. The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won Crook County was 1932 (Roosevelt). There are no cities and the biggest town, Sundance, has 1,032 people.
Yahoo News senior editor Ben Adler was as eager as I was to point out the inconsistencies of the GOP position on crime. Some might term the Republican perspective just old right-wing dishonesty. "Republican politicians," he wrote, "routinely claim that cities run by Democrats have been experiencing crime waves caused by failed governance, but a new study shows murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans. 'We’re seeing murders in our cities, all Democrat-run,' Trump asserted at a March 26 rally in Georgia. 'People are afraid to go out.' In February, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blamed Democrats for a 2018 law that reduced some federal prison sentences-- even though it was signed by Trump after passing a GOP-controlled Congress. 'It’s your party who voted in lockstep for the First Step Act that let thousands of violent felons on the street who have now committed innumerable violent crimes,' Cotton said during a speech in the Senate. Last December, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) told Fox News viewers, 'America’s most beautiful cities are indeed being ruined by liberal policies: There’s a direct line between death and decay and liberal policies.' But a comparison of violent crime rates in jurisdictions controlled by Democrats and Republicans tells a very different story."
The study found that murder rates in the 25 states Trump carried in 2020 are 40% higher overall than in the states Biden won. (The report used 2020 data because 2021 data is not yet fully available.) The five states with the highest per capita murder rate-- Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Missouri-- all lean Republican and voted for Trump.
...Those findings are consistent with a pattern that has existed for decades, in which the South has had higher rates of violent crime than the nation as a whole.
“We as criminologists have known this for quite some time,” Jennifer Ortiz, a professor of criminology at Indiana University Southeast, told Yahoo News. “States like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama have historically had high crime rates.”
Criminologists say research shows higher rates of violent crime are found in areas that have low average education levels, high rates of poverty and relatively modest access to government assistance. Those conditions characterize some portions of the American South.
“They are among the poorest states in our union,” Ortiz said of the Deep South. “They have among the highest rates of child poverty. They are among the least-educated states. They are among the states with the highest levels of substance abuse. All of those factors contribute to people engaging in criminal behavior.”