Two-thirds of voters say crime is on the rise and blame ‘awakened politicians’ for the phenomena, including a majority of Democrats, says a poll suggesting law and order will benefit Republicans in the meantime next month .
About 66 percent of voters said they thought crime was on the rise, while 64 percent said the apparent increase was the “fault of awake politicians,” according to a Harvard-Harris opinion poll released a few weeks before the November 8 midterm elections.
While three-quarters of Republicans blamed “awake politicians,” some 52 percent of Democrats said the same — the latest indicator that crime, along with inflation and immigration, could boost Republican candidates.
Crime rates rose during the pandemic but appear to be leveling off.
Murders fell 2.4 percent and rapes by 5 percent in the first six months of 2022, but total violent crimes rose 4.2 percent, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
Anti-racism activists and some left-wing politicians called for the police forces to be ‘defunded’, but that quickly changed as police shut down, troops struggled to recruit and crime rates began to rise
The FBI’s national crime tracking system this month reported an estimated 4.3 percent increase in homicides in 2021 and a negligible 1 percent drop in overall violent crime — but data from key cities like New York and Los Angeles was missing.
The assassination of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked nationwide racial protests and calls from activists and some left-wing politicians to ‘defund’ the police, but that quickly changed as police shut down, troops struggled to recruit and crime rates began to rise. .
When President Joe Biden unveiled his plan for a safer America in July, he called to “fund” the police, with a central request for nearly $13 billion to hire 100,000 police officers across the country over the next five years.
Still, crime rates are a priority for millions of voters, giving Republicans ammunition to use against “soft-on-crime” Democrats in a barrage of television ads ahead of the midterm elections that will determine which party controls Congress.
Republican candidates are bashing Democrats about the rise in pandemic-era crime in television ads and on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Ohio and other battlefields that will shape American politics for the next two years.
Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled a Republican platform last month aimed at curbing high energy costs and inflation, fighting crime and stopping illegal immigration.
Themes are a regular feature of Republican campaign ads.
“So much violence in our country because left-wing politicians have embraced a soft-on-crime agenda that targets criminals rather than innocent people,” Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller recently said on social media.
“We must end this ‘awakened’ nightmare and return to LAW AND ORDER!”
The Senate Leadership Fund, a fundraising group with ties to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, has placed television ads in Pennsylvania branding Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman as “dangerously liberal on crime.”
Mandela Barnes, a Wisconsin Senate candidate, is accused of being a Democrat who blames the police in a television commercial backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which also says homicides in Milwaukee have risen 40 percent.
Police officers at a turbulent August 2020 protest against racial justice in Portland, Oregon that became an epicenter of the national debate on crime, justice and policing
Republican pressure on crime and immigration is seen as a counterbalance to Democrats’ power on abortion, following a June ruling by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court that overturned the constitutional right to abortion.
Columbia, Maryland, was recently ranked as the safest city in America, and St. Louis, Missouri, as the most dangerous, in a survey measuring everything from the threat of wildfires to the number of uninsured drivers on the road.
The WalletHub study assessed 182 major cities on 42 security metrics — broadly including crime rates, natural disasters, Covid-19 vaccination rates, and economic indicators such as unemployment and homelessness.
At the top of the list was Columbia, Maryland, a suburban area between Washington DC and Baltimore that is home to some 100,000 people and often scores well for quality of life, opportunity, and relatively low crime rates.
REVEALED: America’s Safest and Most Dangerous Cities
Other top scorers included Nashua, New Hampshire, Laredo, Texas, Portland, Maine and Warwick, Rhode Island, according to researchers at WalletHub, a personal finance website.
The worst ranked city, St. Louis, Missouri is famous for The Gateway Arch. While the city of some 300,000 is livable and vibrant on some scales, it also suffers from relatively high rates of violent crime, racial tension and other misery.
Other low scorers were Fort Lauderdale, Florida, San Bernardino, California, Detroit, Michigan and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“Threats to security in the US come in many forms, from the continued presence of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters to mass shootings and traffic accidents,” the researchers said in a statement.
“Some cities are just better at protecting their residents from harm.”