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JLeslie's avatar

Are there examples of large cities typically run by Democratic leaders doing better under Republicans?

Asked by JLeslie (61539points) July 8th, 2020 from iPhone

I keep hearing Republicans saying cities that have high crime and other difficulties are doing poorly because the mayors of these places are Democrats.

Can you name cities that have voted in Republicans and suddenly circumstances got better? What did they do differently? Or, cities that Republicans were elected and nothing changed or things got worse.

I realize NYC is probably going to be named, but all cities and the country was doing better in the late ‘90’s so I’m not sure we can isolate a city during that time. Plus, NYC puts in socially liberal Republicans and “Republicans in name only” and is not really an example of conservative Republicans in the last 50 years that I can think of.

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15 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

Name me one large city anywhere on the planet, regardless of political affiliations, that doesn’t have issues with crime and poverty.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Politics being what it is,their are whiners and gripers of every party that are going to bitch about something.

Lori Lightfoot in Chicago isn’t bad, but she has a huge city with lots of decades-old problems.

Frank Jackson in Cleveland is pretty good; yes, there are economic problems, but he’s not bad at managing the city.

Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles is also effective for the size of his city.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s difficult to find that answer definitively.

Interesting article:

It is true that large cities do have more crime. And they do have more Democrats — both in terms of general voting and local leadership. But it’s a classic example of correlation without evidence of causality.

Bias rating: Overall, we rate USA Today Left-Center Biased based on editorial positions that slightly favor the left and factually high due to proper sourcing.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As of 2013, for the top 100 cities population wise, 75% have Democratic mayors. But here’s the deal concerning the fractious politics defining the current day. What are the chances of a Republican mayor being elected in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C.; the economic powerhouses driving the country since the wholesale deindustrialization of America? By the same token, what chance do Republicans stand in the blighted former giants like Detroit or Baltimore? The striking truth is that in the vast majority of those Democratic bastions, the Republican party is barely an afterthought. Here in San Francisco, I cannot recall an election for ANY office where ANY candidate dared to list their affiliation as Republican, though party affiliation is required. That word “Republican” is such a pejorative that even the slander of “conservative” is a fatal blasphemy. The universal code for what passes as barely tolerable resistance to progressive ideology is hidden behind the label “independent”. The truth is that things look increasingly bleak for the Republican party demographically, as the ever heightening efforts at gerrymandering and voter suppression attest. Those laughable commercials Texas runs in California about residents here fleeing to the lonestar state to because This place is unaffordable and the towns rat infested homeless refugee camps, don’t quite hit the mark.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@stanleybmanly At some level it is a race thing. In many cities – Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, for example, the whites moved out of the city (white flight) and to the suburbs, thereby self-selecting themselves out of big city politics.

If you don’t have white conservatives living in the city limits, they don’t get elected.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Precisely. And the fact is that if this country were truly a representative democracy the Republican party would vanish like ice sickles in August,

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly As of April 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 30% identified as Republican, and 36% as Independent.-Wiki

I think people are scared of both main parties at this point. We’ll see what happens at the actual polls I suppose.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Independent” means jack shit, to be frank. Most “independent” voters are just “independent” because they think it makes them “not a sheep”. The rest simply have no real political principles to begin with.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’d like to think it means they see through the partisan BS, but you’re probably right.

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seawulf575's avatar

Kinda hard to determine. For instance, there are a number of large cities that have Republican mayors that all seem to have been elected since 2014 or so. But the city councils seem to be 100% Democrat. So while Dems have historically had total control, we are seeing Repubs winning mayoral spots, but they still have to work through/with city council that is all Dem. One example is San Diego. Repub mayor, Dem city council, though according to CA law they are supposed to be “non-partisan”. Not sure how that works. I guess they can’t run as Democrats, but they can be Democrats. The Repub mayor was elected in 2015. Looking at historic crime rates it looks like there isn’t any real change, though it does look like downward trends in a couple areas for the couple years covered from when he took office. It could just be normal variation though and the data is only for a couple years since he took office.

Demosthenes's avatar

Even in red states the major cities often have Democratic mayors. Omaha and Jacksonville are two cities I can think of with Republican mayors currently and Jacksonville’s crime rate has gone up in the past couple of years despite its Republican mayor, so…make of that what you will (a city government is more than its mayor, of course). I do think, as @KNOWITALL pointed out, this is more an issue of correlation than causation. If cities like Detroit and Baltimore suddenly elected Republican mayors, I’m not convinced there’d be a huge drop in crime and poverty. These claims almost always omit any elaboration on what specific policy changes a Republican leadership would enact that would address such issues. When I’ve asked Republicans what they’d do to combat the high rates of homelessness in cities like SF and LA the answers weren’t any different from what the liberals were proposing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf We must also remember state law trumps city law, as Feds trump state. St Louis Mo for instance. Very liberal/mixed, urban area in a red state.
Sometimes, like Senate Bill 5, the opposite happens and fixing a problem there (Ferguson) affects the rest of the state negatively.
Double-edged sword.

kritiper's avatar

I read an article (I can’t tell you which one it was) that stated that, in reality. 50% of all Democrats were Moderates (middle of the roaders) as were 66% of Republicans.

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