California Governor Gavin Newsom is officially a Truther.
“This could get…interesting,” Newsom added.
Newsom had racked up 9,300 followers on Truth when Gizmodo checked on Friday morning. The governor’s account featured just a single post, a video of him looking straight into the camera and calling out a so-called “red state murder problem.”
“I know we’re all on the platform in search for the truth, but the truth is, I’ve not been able to find a simple explanation for the fact that we have a red state murder problem,” Newsom said. “Eight of the top ten states with the highest murder rates happen to be red states.”
I just joined Trump’s Truth Social.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 16, 2022
Going to be on there calling out Republican lies. This could get…interesting.
My first post — breaking down America’s red state murder problem. https://t.co/5IxSCf4XJY pic.twitter.com/RnEaKNwpaF
Though Newsom didn’t cite any specific studies, The Hill notes he probably pulled that figure from a March report by left-of-centre think tank Third Way titled, “The Red State Murder Problem.” According to that report, per capita, murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump compared to those won by Joe Biden. Those figures are generally in line with other estimates by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Only two of the U.S.’s most populous cities are reportedly located within the states with the highest murder rates. Those statistics fly in the face of the general narrative on Truth and in right-wing media presenting democratic-run regions as lawless murder holes.
“The question is simple, Newsom added. “What are the laws and policies in those states that are leading to such carnage?”
Fellow Truther posts commenting on Newsom’s arrival were definitely…interesting. While most of the posts viewed by Gizmodo denied the governor’s claims and cited studies showing higher rates of crime in Democratically run cities, others ironically called for Newsom to be de-platformed.
“Get this trash off this site,” one user with one of the most liked comments in Newsom’s comments read.
Newsom did receive a warmer welcome from an unexpected figure. In a Tweet, crap sorry I mean a TRUTH, Trump Media and Technology Group CEO and Trump’s former human doormat Devin Nunes thanked Newsom for joining the platform. “Please welcome the Governor of California @realgovnewsom40 to Truth Social!” Nunes wrote before re-Truthing Newsom’s post.
With his entrance, Newsom became one of a vanishing small number of high-profile democratic politicians on the Truth Social platform. Though the Twitter clone views itself as a “big tent” open platform interested in all political perspectives, the audience appears overwhelmingly conservative. In an October Morning Consult survey, 63% of U.S. adults who voted for Trump said they planned to use the platform at least some of the time. 72% of Democrats and 78% of Biden voters said they didn’t plan to use the service at all.
That’s pretty poor cross-party appeal but at least it’s better than Trump’s short-lived 2021 blog. Only 50% of Republicans and 16% of Democrats said they would engage with that month-long disaster some or a lot.