WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 2 — Crime is top of mind in advance of the midterm elections. A new Gallup poll shows that voters haven’t been this scared since 1972 — half a century ago. The results of its new survey was reported just last week; it found that: 56% say there is more crime where they live, up five points, and 78% think there is more crime nationwide.
The results of the Gallup survey echoed the findings of a January analysis by the Council on Criminal Justice Violent Crime Working Group. The Council issued a news release at that time that reported: “Homicide counts in major American cities continued to climb in 2021, but the pace of the increase slowed…Drawing on crime data from a sampling of 22 cities, the study found that the number of murders in 2021 was 5% higher than counts recorded in 2020, representing 218 additional murders in those cities, and 44% greater than in 2019, representing 1,298 additional lives lost. Sixteen of the 22 cities reported a rise in homicide last year, ranging from increases of 108% in St. Petersburg to less than 1% in Memphis and Baltimore, while six, including Seattle and Omaha, saw a decline.”
Another more recent poll conducted by POLITICO/Morning Consult showed that 75% of their respondents expressed fear that violent crime is increasing nationally and 60% said the issue will determine who they vote for.
Democrat candidates in the upcoming elections are dismissing the fact that voters are scared but mostly dismissive when it comes to taking the blame for the crime surge in recent years. However, two prominent Democrats have admitted — in print — that the party owns the blame. They are Douglas Schoen, who served in the Clinton White House and counseled Hillary Clinton in her run for the presidency in 2016, and Andrew Stein, a Democrat who served as New York City Council president, 1986-94. They published an OpEd piece in the Wall Street Journal back in August. In it, they admitted that the “rise in crime is largely the byproduct of far-left criminal-justice and policing reforms that Democratic cities and states have adopted over the past few years. Such policies include sweeping and indiscriminate police budget cuts, reckless sentencing guidelines and cashless bail.”
Schoen and Stein pulled no punches and predicted that the crime surge “could spell more trouble for Democrats” come November. Their advice for Democrats running for office in the midterms: show that you care and that you are serious about the issue, that you will increase funding for police, that you back “stop, question and frisk” protocols, that you oppose prosecutors who are soft on crime.
Washington Examiner investigative reporter Sarah Westwood says that some Democrats up for election or reelection next week are taking a “tough-on-crime” approach in their campaigns. “But,” in a report last week, she noted that “their efforts to rebut the waves of Republican criticism hitting them across the country could come too late, and reflect too small a view within the Democratic Party, to sway voters who consider public safety their top concern…GOP candidates up and down the ballot have focused their campaigns heavily on the national rise in crime that, they’ve argued in numerous races, Democrats allowed to proliferate by supporting liberal criminal justice reform.”
Some Democrat candidates are seeking to present themselves as being ready to deal with what some might call the “crime wave.” However, reporter Westwood suggests it may be too little, too late, citing Syracuse University political science professor Grant Reeher. He says, “Why do you want to be bringing up that fear and then turning around and saying, ‘Elect me as a continuation of the times that produced that’?”
In a recent interview with AMAC’s CEO, Rebecca Weber, on her Better For America podcast, Conservative political commentator and candidate, Joe Pinion, who is challenging the current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in the upcoming midterm elections, offered his take on the issue of crime in New York State. He said “There is no accountability in our laws anymore here between the cashless bail that they passed and also the defunding of the police before they restored the police budget back to previous levels. What has happened in that gulf is that we’ve seen officers resign in mass. We have seen communities overrun by criminals that should still be behind bars. People [criminals included] should always be given a pathway to redemption. But redemption requires people to acknowledge the pain that they have ushered into the world. If they have not actually made that commitment to change then a second chance is actually weaponizing our own compassion at the expense of those who have done nothing wrong. Innocent people are being killed. Innocent people are being shot.”