Letter to the Editor: Poll results

The Berkley Institute of Government Studies conducted a poll of 8,700 California registered voters and asked what are their top 1 or 2 most important issues facing California. The poll was released on April 14th and consisted of 51% Democrats, 26% Republicans, and 13% No Party Preference. Poll URL: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7sn293xs

The highest 4 entries for Democrats were housing affordability, homelessness, climate change, and gas prices. For Republicans, it was crime/public safety, gas prices, immigration, and taxes. For all respondents, the top six issues, in order, were housing, homelessness, crime, gas prices, climate change, and taxes.

Citizen Republicans and right-wing pundits rail against crime and murders. They cite the murders in Chicago and other Democratic-led cities and states. Plumas County was littered with ‘Law and Order’ political signs promoting their candidates. In March, Trump said, “We’re seeing murders in our cities, all Democrat-run.” It is obvious Republicans care deeply about murders and crime.

The GOP meme is clear: Democrats don’t care about crime and murders.

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But there is a problem with the GOP crime accusations. According to a report by thirdway.org (March 2022), the top six states with the highest murder rates (per capita) were states that voted for Trump. These red states were Mississippi (20.5), Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina (10.72). Next, were two Biden states – New Mexico and Georgia followed by Trump voting Arkansas and Tennessee (9.90).

The often-mentioned blue states had much lower rates of murder: Illinois 11th at 9.2, Pennsylvania 7.22, California 5.59, New York 4.11 and New Jersey 3.7.

Some Democratic-led cites had very large murder rates like Chicago (28.49) and Houston (17.32) but so did GOP controlled cities like Jacksonville (19.78) and Tulsa (19.64).

In summary, the average murder rate in 25 GOP controlled states is 40% higher than 25 Democratic govern states. The six highest murder rates are in GOP states. Chicago has the highest murder rates of cities, but GOP-led cities also have high rates.

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Once again, the right-wing pundits and officials are lying to the Republican constituency and causing unjustified outrage. It’s called projection because they blame somebody else for what they are doing. Democratic led states, counties, and cities have less murders and crime rates than Republican controlled states, counties, and cities.

Everybody wants to lower crime. But the outrage should be directed at the true offenders and not at the locales that are doing a better job. Eventually, you will see that Democrats just want to make all Americans’ lives better. Remember, the ‘truth will set you free.’

Mark Mihevc

Graeagle