Almost All of America’s Failed Cities are Democrat Cities

John Perazzo, That includes 42 of the top 43 centers of violent crime.

As Marxist and anarchist radicals continue to turn Democrat-run American cities into war zones, Democrats assure us that they alone understand how the current crisis can be resolved. White House hopeful Joe Biden, for example, vows that “as President,” he “will help lead” a national “conversation” about racial justice, “and more importantly,” he “will listen” to the “anguish” of the long-forgotten “little guy.”[1]

Biden’s “little guy” narrative blends seamlessly with one of the most widely accepted claims in American political discourse today: the notion that the Democratic Party is the party that fights on behalf of the common man. We are told that Democrats in public office advocate for a wide range of policies that would improve the lives of the poorest and most powerless among us.

With regard to crime, for instance, the Democratic Party Platform declares that we need to: end the “mass incarceration” that allegedly targets nonwhite minorities; “invest more in jobs and education” than in jails; eliminate mandatory minimum sentences; “close private prisons and detention centers”; “eliminat[e] the use of cash bail” because “no one should be imprisoned merely for failing to pay fines or fees”; and “abolish the death penalty, which has proven to be a cruel and unusual form of punishment.”[2]

Regarding economic matters, the official Democratic Party Platform explicitly pledges to promote “shared prosperity” by: “rais[ing] wages for working people,” “ending poverty” in “underserved communities,” and implementing “a comprehensive agenda to invest in America’s cities.”[3]

But in city after city where Democrats already have been in charge politically for an extended period of time, we find exceedingly high—indeed, often colossal—levels of crime and poverty that degrade the quality of life for the people who reside there. And the longer Democrats have dominated the politics of those cities, the worse the conditions tend to be. In short, Democrats have transformed a host of once-great metropolises into urban prisons where the “little guy”particularly the black and Hispanic “little guy” on whose behalf Democrats typically claim to speakhas been grievously harmed by one destructive Democratic policy after another.

The Most Dangerous Cities in America

Let us first examine the political leadership of the most dangerous American cities, large and small alike. “Danger,” for purposes of this analysis, is defined in terms of the number of violent crimes committed per 1,000 residents. Four categories of violent crime are included in these calculations: homicide, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. The statistics regarding the incidence of each of these crimes in each city were derived from FBI records and were published in 2019 by the custom analytics website[4]

The following chart shows the 50 cities that have the highest violent crime rates in the United States and: (a) have a population of 25,000 or more; (b) are governed by mayors who are clearly identifiable as either Democrats or Republicans;[5] and (c) have either a “Mayor-Council” (MC) form of government, a “Council-Manager” (CM) form of government, or a Hybrid (HYB) of the two.[6]  Of those 50 cities, 46 are governed by Democratic mayors and administrations; only 4 are governed by Republicans. Moreover, 42 of the top 43 are governed by Democrats.



Cities with Populations of 25,000+ Population[7] Type of Govt. Violent Crimes/ 1,000 Mayor’s Party
1 Detroit, MI 672,829 MC 20.0 Democratic
2 Memphis, TN 652,752 MC 19.5 Democratic
3 Birmingham, AL 209,403 MC 19.3 Democratic
4 Baltimore, MD 614,664 MC 18.5 Democratic
5 Flint, MI 97,379 MC 18.3 Democratic
6 St. Louis, MO 318,416 MC 18.2 Democratic
7 Wilmington, DE 71,455 MC 16.3 Democratic
8 Camden, NJ 74,417 MC 16.2 Democratic
9 Pine Bluff, AR 42,984 MC 16.0 Democratic
10 Kansas City, MO 481,360 CM 15.9 Democratic
11 S. Bernardino, CA HYB MC 15.3 Democratic
12 Alexandria, LA 47,334 MC 14.6 Democratic
13 Little Rock, AR 198,546 CM 14.6 Democratic
14 Cleveland, OH 385,810 MC 14.5 Democratic
15 Milwaukee, WI 595,070 MC 14.3 Democratic
16 Stockton, CA 307,057 CM 14.2 Democratic
17 Monroe, LA 49,761 MC 14.1 Democratic
18 Chester, PA 34,133 MC 14.0 Democratic
19 Rockford, IL 147,404 MC 14.0 Democratic
20 Albuquerque, NM 559,270 MC 13.7 Democratic
21 Pontiac, MI 59,792 MC 13.4 Democratic
22 Kalamazoo, MI 75,988 CM 13.3 Democratic
23 Anchorage, AK 298,192 HYB 13.1 Democratic
24 Oakland, CA 419,987 HYB 12.9 Democratic
25 Indianapolis, IN 852,506 MC 12.9 Democratic
26 East Point, GA 35,282 MC 12.8 Democratic
27 Compton, CA 97,537 CM 12.1 Democratic
28 Battle Creek, MI 52,347 CM 12.0 Republican
29 East St. Louis, IL 26,662 CM 12.0 Democratic
30 Canton, OH 71,329 MC 11.9 Democratic[8]
31 Elkhart, IN 52,348 MC 11.9 Democratic
32 Newburgh, NY 28,363 CM 11.9 Democratic
33 Riviera Beach, FL 34,674 MC 11.8 Democratic
34 Wichita, KS 389,938 CM 11.8 Democratic
35 Jackson, MI 32,704 CM 11.8 Democratic
36 New Orleans, LA 391,495 MC 11.8 Democratic
37 Trenton, NJ 84,065 MC 11.8 Democratic
38 Jacksonville, AR 28,235 MC 11.7 Democratic
39 Nashville, TN 688,901 MC 11.5 Democratic
40 Lansing, MI 117,400 MC 11.1 Democratic[9]
41 Daytona B., FL 66,649 MC 11.1 Democratic
42 Albany, GA 74,904 MC 10.9 Democratic
43 Harrisburg, PA 49,192 MC 10.8 Democratic
44 Tulsa, OK 401,190 MC 10.7 Republican
45 Beaumont, TX 116,825 CM 10.7 Republican
46 Hartford, CT 123,287 MC 10.7 Democratic
47 Desert Hot Sp, CA 28,878 MC 10.7 Republican
48 Buffalo, NY 255,284 MC 10.6 Democratic
49 Gadsden, AL 35,000 MC 10.5 Democratic
50 Chattanooga, TN 182,799 MC 10.5 Democratic

The Cities with the Highest Poverty Rates

Now let us turn our attention to the political leadership of the large U.S. cities with the highest poverty rates in the nation. These are cities that: (a) have populations of at least 200,000; (b) are governed by mayors who are clearly identifiable as either Democrats or Republicans; and (c) have either a “Mayor-Council” (MC) form of government, a “Council-Manager” (CM) form of government, or a Hybrid (HYB) of the two.[10] Of the 50 cities in this list, 41 have Democratic mayors, and just 9 have Republican mayors.[11]

Rank City & State Type of Govt. Poverty Rate Mayor’s Party
1 Detroit, MI MC 36.4% Democratic
2 Cleveland, OH MC 34.6% Democratic
3 Buffalo, NY MC 30.3% Democratic
4 San Bernardino, CA HYB 28.4% Democratic
5 Newark, NJ MC 28.0% Democratic
6 Cincinnati, OH HYB 27.2% Democratic
7 Fresno, CA HYB 26.9% Republican
8 Memphis, TN MC 26.8% Democratic
9 Milwaukee, WI MC 26.6% Democratic
10 Toledo, OH MC 25.6% Democratic
11 Baton Rouge, LA MC 25.2% Democratic
12 Philadelphia, PA MC 24.9% Democratic
13 New Orleans, LA MC 24.6% Democratic
14 Richmond, VA MC 24.5% Democratic
15 Miami, FL HYB 24.3% Republican
16 St. Louis, MO MC 24.2% Democratic
17 Hialeah, FL MC 23.7% Republican
18 Tucson, AZ CM 23.4% Democratic
19 Baltimore, MD MC 21.8% Democratic
20 Atlanta, GA MC 21.6% Democratic
21 Pittsburgh, PA MC 21.4% Democratic
22 Houston, TX MC 20.6% Democratic
23 Dallas, TX CM 20.5% Democratic
24 Stockton, CA CM 20.5% Democratic
25 Columbus, OH MC 20.4% Democratic
26 Boston, MA MC 20.2% Democratic
27 Lubbock, TX CM 20.2% Republican
28 El Paso, TX CM 20.0% Republican
29 Minneapolis, MN MC 19.9% Democratic
30 St. Paul, MN MC 19.9% Democratic
31 Norfolk, VA CM 19.7% Democratic
32 Tulsa, OK MC 19.7% Republican
33 Chicago, IL MC 19.5% Democratic
34 Tampa, FL MC 19.5% Democratic
35 Phoenix, AZ CM 19.4% Democratic
36 Los Angeles, CA MC 19.1% Democratic
37 New York, NY MC 18.9% Democratic
38 Glendale, AZ CM 18.6% Republican
39 San Antonio, TX CM 18.6% Democratic
40 Bakersfield, CA CM 18.5% Republican
41 Greensboro, NC CM 18.5% Democratic
42 Jersey City, NJ MC 18.3% Democratic
43 Sacramento, CA CM 18.3% Democratic
44 Spokane, WA MC 18.3% Republican
45 Orlando, FL MC 18.2% Democratic
46 Long Beach, CA CM 18.1% Democratic
47 Madison, WI MC 17.9% Democratic
48 Santa Ana, CA CM 17.7% Democratic
49 Albuquerque, NM MC 17.6% Democratic
50 Oakland, CA HYB 17.6% Democratic

It should be noted that many of the cities in the foregoing charts have been governed by Democrats not just for a short time, but for many years, or even decades, on end. To cite just a few examples: St. Louis has been led exclusively and continuously by Democrats for the past 71 years; Detroit, 58 years; Baltimore, 53 years; Kansas City, 29 years; Wilmington, 47 years; Cleveland, 30 years; Harrisburg, 38 years; Houston, 38 years; Minneapolis, 42 years; Chicago, 89 years; and Milwaukee, 60 years.


The facts are crystal clear, and they are stunning. For decade upon decade, the Democratic Party has fed mountains of rhetoric to its many reliable voting blocs in scores of U.S. cities, assuring them of its deep and abiding concern for the lives of ordinary Americans. Yet it has delivered absolutely nothing in terms of measurable improvements to those lives. Instead, the Party has gradually transformed itself into a political wrecking ball whose only tangible achievement in urban America has been to perpetuate obscene levels of poverty, crime, and human misery. It is a shocking record of wretched failure that can be neither ignored nor wished away.

Why on earth would anyone believe that entrusting Democrats with the reins of governmental power on a national level, as opposed to a city level, would lead to a better result?

It is time for serious-minded individuals who may have long supported the Democratic Party for reasons they deemed worthy and honorable, to finally recognize that their party has failed and betrayed them so consistently and so monstrously, that they now have a moral imperative to walk away from it.

* * *

Photo credit: Jared Tarbell



[2] Democratic Party Platform, 2020 and 2016.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Dr. Andrew Schiller, “NeighborhoodScout’s Most Dangerous Cities – 2020” (, 1-2-2020); “How We Rank the 100 Most Dangerous Cities List” (, 2-2-2019).

[5] Any cities on NeighborhoodScout’s “Most Dangerous” list that are currently led by mayors who identify politically as “Independent,” “Nonpartisan,” “Bipartisan,” or “Other”—rather than as either “Democratic” or “Republican”—are not included on our list. Seven cities have been excluded for this reason. They are: Danville, IL; Saginaw, MI; Myrtle Beach, SC; Shawnee, OK; Farmington, NM; Springfield, MO; and Scranton, PA.

[6] As explains, “Mayor-Council” governments can be either “Strong Mayor-Council,” where the mayor is the chief executive with expansive powers, or “Weak Mayor-Council,” where the executive authority of the mayor is less expansive. Conversely, in a “Council-Manager” form of government the mayor is a regular voting member of the city council, which in turn appoints a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations, draft a budget, and implement the council’s policies. Still, the mayor in such a system is a major player, responsible for such tasks as presiding at council meetings, serving as a spokesperson for the community, helping elected and appointed officials work together cohesively, and assisting the council in setting goals and making policy. (See also:

[7] Population statistics for each city are derived from and the U.S. Census Bureau.

[8] Though Thomas Bernabei was elected mayor of Canton in 2015 by running as a nonpartisan, he has been a lifelong Democrat. Thus, he is counted here as a Democrat.

[9] Though Lansing’s city races are officially considered nonpartisan, Mayor Andy Schor is a career Democrat. Thus, he is counted here as a Democrat. See Sarah Lehr, “What Can Lansing Expect from Mayor Andy Schor?” (Lansing Journal, 12-29-2017).

[10] See Note #6.


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