## State/Local-Police Rate and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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The State/Local-Police rate (number/1000) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1996 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the State/Local-Police rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's State/Local-Police rate (SLPR) data for 1996 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote +0.335 Republican vote -0.202

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 34% positive correlation with increasing SLPR and the Republican votes had a 20% negative correlation. States with high State/Local-Police rate vote more Democratic than Republican and vice versa.

 This is a plot of the State/Local-Police rate (SLPR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the positive correlation of SLPR with the Democratic vote and the negative correlation with the Republican vote. Note the large difference between the highest state (New York with 39) and the lowest state (West Virginia with 16).

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for State/Local-Police rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Democratic.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=22), ranked 23 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=28), ranked 44 of 50 for increasing State/Local-Police rate in 1996.

 U.S. state/local police rate 1996 election State Rate per 10,000 Democrat Republican Rank West Virginia 16 51.5% 36.8% 1 Kentucky 17 45.8% 44.9% 2 Minnesota 17 51.1% 35.0% 3 Vermont 17 53.4% 31.1% 4 Washington 17 49.8% 37.3% 5 Iowa 18 50.3% 39.9% 6 North Dakota 18 40.1% 46.9% 7 Utah 18 33.3% 54.4% 8 Indiana 19 41.6% 47.1% 9 Maine 19 51.6% 30.8% 10 Montana 19 41.3% 44.1% 11 Oregon 19 47.2% 39.1% 12 Nebraska 20 35.0% 53.7% 13 New Hampshire 20 49.6% 39.6% 14 South Dakota 20 43.0% 46.5% 15 Alaska 21 33.3% 50.8% 16 Idaho 21 33.6% 52.2% 17 Michigan 21 51.7% 38.5% 18 Mississippi 21 44.1% 49.2% 19 Ohio 21 47.4% 41.0% 20 Pennsylvania 21 49.2% 40.0% 21 California 22 51.1% 38.2% 22 Oklahoma 22 40.4% 48.3% 23 Alabama 23 43.2% 50.1% 24 Arizona 23 46.5% 44.3% 25 Arkansas 23 53.7% 36.8% 26 Delaware 23 51.8% 36.6% 27 North Carolina 23 44.0% 48.7% 28 South Carolina 23 44.0% 49.8% 29 Tennessee 23 48.0% 45.6% 30 Kansas 24 36.1% 54.3% 31 Missouri 24 47.5% 41.2% 32 New Mexico 24 49.2% 41.9% 33 Rhode Island 24 59.7% 26.8% 34 Hawaii 25 56.9% 31.6% 35 Texas 25 43.8% 48.8% 36 Wisconsin 25 48.8% 38.5% 37 Colorado 26 44.4% 45.8% 38 Connecticut 26 52.8% 34.7% 39 Florida 26 48.0% 42.3% 40 Georgia 26 45.8% 47.0% 41 Maryland 27 54.3% 38.3% 42 Nevada 27 43.9% 42.9% 43 Virginia 28 45.1% 47.1% 44 Massachusetts 29 61.5% 28.1% 45 Wyoming 29 36.8% 49.8% 46 Illinois 32 54.3% 36.8% 47 New Jersey 35 53.7% 35.9% 48 Louisiana 37 52.0% 39.9% 49 New York 39 58.3% 30.0% 50