By far, Americans are convinced that the issue of crime is one that is on the rise when compared to last year as voters make ready to officially cast their ballots for the upcoming midterm elections.
As reported by a new poll compiled and released by Gallup, just about 56% of voting adults reported an overall increase in the crime rates for where they lived, while 78% stated that they think crime has gotten worse across the entire nation as a whole, marking the worst thoughts about public safety in over thirty years. In the same vein, a much higher percentage of Republicans reported much higher local crime, and Democratic views remained mostly unaltered, even as the perceptions of those labeled as independents seemed to further concerns about elevated lawlessness.
Regarding the issue of crime, Republicans laud an almost 14% lead above their Democratic counterparts when it comes to voter trust prior to the midterms, which includes a 34% lead among independents, as reported by the poll from ABC News and The Washington Post. The current election cycle has sported quite a few Republican underdogs empowering themselves to become competitive candidates to push out the Democratic incumbents. For example, in New York, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin has been putting up a surprising challenge against Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul as residents become increasingly worried about public safety and homelessness.
However, Haynes Brown, an opinion columnist from MSNBC, stated via an analysis that the poll from Gallup expressed the “disconnect between the perception of increased crime in an area and whether that purported increase can accurately be measured,” stating that Republican efforts to “frame cities as liberal-created hellscapes p[ossibnly shaped such sentiment. He made reference to the nationwide crime data issued by the Department of Justice which expressed that “violent victimization,” which includes violent crimes such as robbery and rape while at the same time omitting murder, “did not change” across 2020 and 2021, even as crimes against property “had not significantly increased” from last year.
“This is an only slightly less dangerous version of former President Donald Trump’s election denialism cycle in 2020: Say that there’s a problem without real evidence, then use the fact that people think there is a problem as proof that a problem exists,” explained Hayes. “Republicans have invested a lot of time and money into priming the country to believe that Democrats have heralded in a new era of lawlessness and only the GOP’s mass incarceration plans can keep people safe. Gallup’s poll shows Republicans are getting a very solid return on that investment.”
However, quite a few cities have seen massive crime waves going further than the massive jump witnessed just two years ago, as reported by information gathered by WalletHub. Cities such as New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs sported increases in their homicide rate per capita between the third quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022. Additionally, a total of twelve major American cities that were run by Democrats managed to shatter their previously held homicide records.