Is it true what California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) claims, that America has a “red state murder problem”? Or, is he trying to shift the blame to Republicans and distract from the fact that 19 out of the top 20 cities with the highest homicide rates are run by Democrat mayors?
Newsom made the claim while speaking with Elex Michaelson, host of The Issue Is podcast, about the recall of San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The recall, the governor argued, did not warrant “the attention nationally as some arbiter of something farther-reaching,” and he suggested that Republicans carry more of the blame for the nationwide crime wave. He also accused the media of being biased and focusing on his state.
Newsom referenced an inventory of the top cities with the highest murder rates and said Los Angeles and San Francisco were not even on the list. “And two-thirds of the cities were in Republican states.” He added:
“But what’s going on with the red state murder problem in America? Eight of the top states with the fastest-growing murder rates in America are Republican states.”
According to the World Population Review, seven (not eight) of the top ten states have Republican governors:
- Louisiana: Governor John Bel Edwards (D)
- Missouri: Governor Mike Parson (R)
- Nevada: Governor Steve Sisolak (D)
- Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan (R)
- Arkansas: Governor Asa Hutchinson (R)
- Alaska: Governor Mike Dunleavy (R)
- Alabama: Governor Kay Ivey (R)
- Mississippi: Governor Tate Reeves (R)
- Illinois: Governor B. Pritzker (D)
- South Carolina: Governor Henry McMaster (R)
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted out: “According to CBS News out of the Top 10 deadliest cities in America, 7 of them are in Republican-run states.” If one were to go just by that data, then, yes, it does look like there is a red state murder problem. But there’s much more to the picture than what the Dems are focusing on.
To get at the “root” of the debate, let’s take a deep dive into the numbers for the top five states and how their cities placed on the crime list.
The Bayou State ranked #1 for the highest number of murders in 2022, and it has a Democrat governor. New Orleans placed at #3 (out of 20) for cities with the highest homicides, and its mayor is LaToya Cantrell, another Democrat.
While the Show Me State may have a Republican governor, two of its cities with Democrat mayors placed in the top 10 for highest number of murders committed in 2022. St. Louis, with Mayor Tishaura Jones (D), is #1, and Kansas City came in at #7 with Quinton Lucas (D) as mayor.
Third on the murder list, the Silver State has a Democrat governor, and Las Vegas, which placed #6 on the city list, has Democrat Carolyn Goodman as its mayor.
The Free State may have a Republican governor, but Baltimore, with Democrat Mayor Brandon M. Scott, placed second on the list of cities with the highest murder rates.
Yes, Arkansas is in the top five states and has a Republican governor, but not a single city from the Natural State made it in the top 20 cities with the highest murder rates.
In fact, the only other city belonging to one of the top ten states to make the list was Chicago, IL, which came in at #10, with a Democrat governor and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, another Democrat.
So, to reiterate, the top five states have three Republican and two Democrat governors. However, all but Arkansas, which didn’t have any cities on the list, have Democrat mayors running cities that are in the top ten of the most murders in 2022. And, regarding the last five states, with four Republican and one Democrat governor, only the blue state (Illinois) had any cities in the top 20, and that, too, is managed by a Democrat governor.
The picture is clear, or at least it should be. Saying we have a red state murder problem is like blaming a franchise owner because some of his store managers aren’t doing their jobs and identifying the entire corporation as badly managed. Instead, the smart decision would be to hire more capable personnel to run those stores – or cities, as it were.
Top 20 Cities With the Highest Murder Rate for 2022
#1: St. Louis, MO – Mayor Tishaura Jones (D), Governor Mike Parson (R)
#2: Baltimore, MD – Mayor Brandon M. Scott (D), Governor Larry Hogan (R)
#3: New Orleans, LA – Mayor is LaToya Cantrell (D), Governor John Bel Edwards (D)
#4: Detroit, MI—Mayor Mike Duggan (D), Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)
#5: Cleveland, OH – Mayor Justin Bibb (D), Governor Mike DeWine (R)
#6: Las Vegas, NV – Mayor Carolyn Goodman (D), Governor Steve Sisolak (D)
#7: Kansas City, MO – Mayor Quinton Lucas (D), Governor Mike Parson (R)
#8: Memphis, TN – Mayor Jim Strickland (D), Governor Bill Lee (R)
#9: Newark, NJ – Mayor Ras Baraka (D), Governor Phil Murphy (D)
#10: Chicago, IL – Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), Governor J.B. Pritzker (D)
#11: Cincinnati, OH – Mayor Aftab Pureval (D), Governor Mike DeWine (R)
#12: Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney (D), Governor Tom Wolf (D)
#13: Milwaukee, WI – Mayor Cavalier Johnson (D), Governor Tony Evers (D)
#14: Tulsa, OK – Mayor G.T. Bynum (R), Governor Kevin Stitt (R)
#15: Pittsburg, PA – Mayor Ed Gainey (D), Governor Tom Wolf (D)
#16: Indianapolis, IN – Mayor Joe Hogsett (D), Governor Eric Holcomb (R)
#17: Louisville, Kentucky – Mayor Greg Fischer (D), Governor Andy Beshear (D)
#18: Oakland, CA – Mayor Libby Schaff (D), Governor Gavin Newsom (D)
#19: Washington, DC – Mayor Muriel Bowser (D)
#20: Atlanta, GA – Mayor Andre Dickens (D), Governor Brian Kemp (R)