Do Crime Rates Spike After a Democrat Is Elected President?


  • Giulia Shaughnessy Middlebury College
  • Katherine D. Beadle Middlebury College
  • Sarah F. O'Dell Middlebury College
  • Raeanne N. Smith Middlebury College
  • Paul M. Sommers Mentor, Middlebury College



Violent and property U.S. crime rates, U.S. presidential elections, Political parties


The authors examine state-level violent and property crime rates (as well as rates for murder, rape, and burglary) across all 50 states (including the District of Columbia) and within the four Census regions one year before and after U.S. presidential elections in 2008, 2012, and 2016.  Violent and property crime rates in all states decreased significantly after Barack Obama’s (a Democrat’s) election in 2008 and re-election in 2012.  Murder rates decreased significantly after both election years and burglary rates decreased significantly after 2012.  Property crime rates also decreased significantly the year after Donald J. Trump’s (a Republican’s) election in 2016.  But, rape rates were significantly higher in all states and murder rates were significantly higher in the West.


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Author Biographies

Giulia Shaughnessy, Middlebury College

Giulia Shaughnessy has dual citizenship, Italian and American.

Paul M. Sommers, Mentor, Middlebury College

Professor of Economics

References or Bibliography

Listed at the end of the manuscript



How to Cite

Shaughnessy, G., Beadle, K. D. ., O’Dell, S. F. ., Smith, R. N. ., & Sommers, P. M. . (2021). Do Crime Rates Spike After a Democrat Is Elected President?. Journal of Student Research, 10(4).



Research Articles