Counties That Held MAGA Rallies Saw a 226% Increase in Hate Crimes. Is a “Trump Effect” to Blame?
To what extent do political leaders influence violence with their charged rhetoric? A new study of the counties that held Trump rallies in 2016 may provide a clue.
Researchers at the University of North Texas examined data from the Anti-Defamation League where 275 Trump campaign rallies were held in 2016. They found a 226% increase in hate crimes in those areas compared to similar counties which did not host Trump campaign events.
The researchers were careful to note that no direct link can be drawn between the crimes and Trump’s visits. That hasn't stopped many from blaming the striking correlation on a so-called “Trump effect.” The researchers also said a number of the perpetrators referenced Trump when carrying out their attacks.
Hate crimes are on the rise nationwide. FBI data shows U.S. hate crime reports increased 17% in 2017 over the previous year.