4 Crime Indicators — Are Red or Blue States Better?

In comparing the quality of life between Red vs Blue states, I’ll be grouping all 23 indicators into 4 main categories:

Intro Comments

Finding data sets for this one was pretty straightforward.  I’ll be exclusively using 2018 data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.  However, sometimes the data wasn’t the easiest to track down and also, to reduce tedious data entry, I sometimes used data sets from third parties (like statista.com) which presented it more directly.  I’ve provided links to everything in the Excel doc below.

I chose four crimes based off of recommendations from conservative friends / family as well as somewhat at random.  Additionally, the FBI splits “Part 1” crimes into two types, violent crimes and property crimes, so I decided to get some variety there as well.  All in all, I chose Murder, Forcible Rape, Robbery, and Motor Vehicle Theft.

I’d also like to quickly link to this 2016 Snope’s article debunking a popular set of maps comparing crime and Red vs Blue states.

To learn more about how I chose indicators generally and score everything, as well as other details about this study, please check out my Methodology post.  Also, here’s the original Excel document I used for all four Crime Indicators

TL ; DR!

*Note 1: Parties can do “vastly,” “clearly,” or “slightly” better.   *Note 2: “Better” as in less crime.

Murder – Democrats do Vastly Better

Rape – Democrats do Slightly Better

Robbery – Republicans do Clearly Better

Car Theft – Democrats do Clearly Better

Murder

Democrats won all five metrics on this one, including two major wins, making it clear that they do vastly better than Republicans in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding to this solid win, you might notice that 4 out of 6 of the Blue states under the US average have a (.5) next to them.  That means they only voted for Democrats in 3 of the last 4 elections, not like (1) states that voted 4 out of 4.  Keep an eye out for this, since it isn’t formally accounted for in this study.

A lot of conservatives I’ve spoken to predicted the opposite results – Republicans would clearly win.  As I personally understand it, these people hear about awful spikes in cities, read: Blue, with headlines reading something like “12 murdered over the weekend.”

However, not only do Red states have cities too, which may do better or worse than Blue state cities, but these headlines take advantage of a common cognitive bias – the availability heuristic.  More people are scared of planes because lots of people die in headline making crashes.  Nonetheless, you’re much more likely to die in an unremarkable yet vastly more common car accident.

Data Sets 1, 2.

Model & Failed States – Top & Bottom 5

60% are the Model States are Blue, making Democrats the minor winner of this first metric.

Similarly, 60% of Failed States are Red, again making Democrats the minor winner.

The Good & Bad Baskets – Top & Bottom 15

53% of the Good Basket are Blue, making Democrats the minor winner here.

Similarly, 67% of the Bad Basket are Red, this time giving Democrats a major win.

States Making America Great – Percent Above US Average

74% of Blue States but only 42% of Red States are Making America Great.  So again, Democrats are the major winner.

*For more on how and why I made these calculations or terms used, please check out the bottom of the Methodology page.

Forcible Rape

This is the weakest win of the bunch, but still a fairly clear win for Democrats in 2018.  As you can see, although Republicans lose the category as a whole, they have two minor wins in the first metrics.  However, Democrats clearly win the next three metrics, including two major wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What seems to be the case is that there’s decently solid trend that Dem’s do better, but that there are atypical outliers on both ends, i.e. a few Republican states that do particularly well and a few Dem’s do particular poorly.  However, the greatest outliers, first and last place, fit the overall trend.

It should also be noted that all of the worst Dem states are (.5)’s, meaning they’ve recently voted Republican.

Data Sets 1, 2,

Model & Failed States – Top & Bottom 5

60% are the Model States are Red this time, making Republicans the minor winner.

Similarly, 60% of Failed States are Blue, again making Republicans the minor winner.

The Good & Bad Baskets – Top & Bottom 15

60% of the Good Basket, however, are Blue, making Democrats the minor winner here.

Similarly, 73% of the Bad Basket are Red, this time giving Democrats a major win.

States Making America Great – Percent Above US Average

Last, but not least, 52% of Blue States but only 38% of Red States are Making America Great.  So Democrats are the major winner here.

Robbery

Republicans get their first win and do better with robbery (theft with the threat or use of force) in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the rating system I came up with before doing any of this analysis, this appears to be a stronger win for Red than the last indicator was for Blue’s.  However, the wins are a lot closer (1 state would flip each result) and in Red’s only major win, 2 of the 5 Dems there are (.5)’s.

It’s certainly a win for Reds, but it’s an example of an ask I’d like to make: if anyone ever has the time, it’d be interesting to parse apart the data with 5 instead of 3 hues, as mentioned in the Methodology post, and also look into magnitude of difference bt states.

Data Set 1, 2,

Model & Failed States – Top & Bottom 5

60% are the Model States are Red, making Republicans the minor winner.

Similarly, 80% of Failed States are Blue, again making Republicans the major winner.

The Good & Bad Baskets – Top & Bottom 15

53% of the Good Basket, are Red, making Republicans the minor winner here.

Interestingly enough, 53% of the Bad Basket are also Red, providing Democrats a minor win.

States Making America Great – Percent Above US Average

And almost at a tie, 70% of Blue States and 75% of Red States are Making America Great.  So Republicans are the minor winner here.

Motor Vehicle Theft

Close but not quite as well as murder, Democrats clearly do better (lower rate of car thefts) than Republican states in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first indicator where the losing political party has a major win, namely a lot more Democrats that are Failed States.  However, given that they have a 100% lead among Model States, the other side of that coin, and win all other categories, including 3 major wins, Democrats are still clearly the winner here.  For instance, a Blue state is almost 3 times more likely to be above the US average compared to a Red state!

Data Sets 1, 2,

Model & Failed States – Top & Bottom 5

100% of the Model States are Blue, making Democrats the major winner.

However, 80% of Failed States are also Blue, again making Republicans the major winner.

The Good & Bad Baskets – Top & Bottom 15

67% of the Good Basket are Blue, making Democrats the major winner.

And 53% of the Bad Basket are Red, providing Democrats a minor win.

States Making America Great – Percent Above US Average

And finally, 70% of Blue States and 25% of Red States are Making America Great.  So Democrats are the major winner by a huge lead.

Conclusion

Democrats do a lot better on Crime. This isn’t an absolutely crushing victory, but they did win 3 of the 4 indicators, and at least one or two of those fairly decisively.

Most importantly, murder is often considered one of the worst crimes a person can commit, and in this study it’s also the indicator that was most decisively won.  Some may argue forcible rape is just as bad or worse, which I don’t disagree with.  But again, Democrat states appear to do better.

4 responses to “4 Crime Indicators — Are Red or Blue States Better?

  1. Pingback: Research Methodology — Are Red or Blue States Better? | Applied Sentience·

  2. Pingback: SOCIAL ISSUES — Are Red or Blue States Better? | Applied Sentience·

  3. Pingback: 8 Economic Indicators — Are Red or Blue States Better? | Applied Sentience·

  4. Pingback: Summary of 23 Quality of Life Indicators — Are Red or Blue States Better? | Applied Sentience·

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s