It’s not just Baltimore! Turns out that the cities with the highest crime rates are nearly all run by Democrats.
The homicide rate in Baltimore has exploded since the tragic death of Freddie Gray on April 19, with some 38 homicides in May alone—the deadliest month in 15 years, according to Time.
Gray’s death brought a lot of attention to the fact that Baltimore has been run by Democrats for years, including former Mayor Martin O’Malley, now a presidential candidate.
And while Baltimore may be getting a lot of public (and unwanted) attention for its violent crimes, there are cities that are much worse—or at least they were before Baltimore’s new killing spree.
And nearly all of those cities have Democratic mayors.
Neighborhood Scout has tracked the cities with the highest violent crime rates for several years. The organization explains its process by saying: “Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city.”
Of the top 20 cities on Neighborhood Scout’s 2015 list, two of the mayors (Atlantic City, NJ, and Myrtle Beach, SC) are Republicans, though the mayor of Atlantic City was only elected in 2013, taking office in 2014. Prior to his election, the mayor’s office was held by a string of Democrats.
Two mayors (Saginaw, MI, and Rockford, IL) appear to be independents, or did not make party affiliation part of their campaign—which isn’t unusual, since city and county elections are often run on a non-partisan basis.
But 16 of the 20 highest violent crime cities have Democratic mayors. And if you’re wondering, Baltimore comes in at 18 on the Neighborhood Scout list—though it could be in for a move up on the 2016 list.
The question that arises is whether cities with high crime rates tend to vote for Democratic mayors, or do the policies and practices of Democratic mayors tend to lead to high crime rates?
Given how Baltimore officials handled the Freddie Gray crisis, one is tempted to say that at least in that city the policies drove the crime.