The Washington Post declared it has disproven President Donald Trump’s claim that “the 20 most dangerous cities are Democrat-run” by affirming that 17 of the 20 most violent have Democrat mayors.
Columnist Philip Bump began by quoting Trump claiming “the 20 most dangerous [cities] are Democrat-run”:
Trump has repeatedly lifted up a statistical factoid, as he did during an event at the White House on Wednesday. “You hear about certain places like Chicago and you hear about what’s going on in Detroit and other — other cities, all Democrat run,” he said. “Every one of them is Democrat run. Twenty out of 20. The 20 worst, the 20 most dangerous are Democrat run.”
Bump explained, “It’s not clear how Trump is defining ‘most dangerous’ in this context. So let’s look at two related sets of data compiled by the FBI: most violent crime and most violent crime per capita.”
In his analysis, Bump pointed to an FBI list of the 20 cities with the most violent crime, the top 10 of which all have Democrat mayors:
- New York
- Los Angeles
Out of the next ten cities, two (San Antonio and Las Vegas) have independent mayors, and one (Jacksonville) has a Republican. Bump goes further, listing the top 20 cities with the most violent crime “per 10,000” people. In this list, only one city lacks a Democrat mayor, and that is Springfield, Missouri.
So on the straightforward list of most violent cities, 17 of 20 have a Democrat mayor. For incidents per 10,000 people, 19 out of the top 20 have a Democrat mayor.
Bump cedes that Trump is only “slightly wrong” before launching into a discourse on why making this comparison means nothing, anyway. “in fairness, it actually doesn’t matter that four of the 32 cities listed above have non-Democratic mayors,” he writes, “because it doesn’t really matter that the other mayors are Democrats.”
“Since there’s a correlation between size and amount of crime and between size and propensity to vote Democratic, it’s problematic to draw a causal relationship between crime and Democratic leadership,” he argues — responding to an implication that Trump’s quote never makes explicit.
“It may be the case that cities with more crime are more likely to have Democratic leaders,” Bump concedes. “To a large extent, of course, Trump isn’t really trying to make a point beyond ‘cities and Democrats are scary’” — apparently for cynical electoral purposes, according to the columnist.
Author: AWR Hawkins