They arise every time voters ride the subway, walk down a dark street, pay the cashier at the grocery, or fill up their truck. That's why survey after survey says they are the top issues motivating voters this November. That's bad news for Democrats. Pollsters say Republicans hold huge advantages on the economy, inflation, and crime, the issues that matter most to voters.
Since crime is essentially a local issue, why does it hurt Democrats running for national or statewide office? Because the Democratic Party has associated itself with the notion that "social justice" and "racial equality" require fundamentally changing policing and incarceration. The problem, they say, is police, not criminals. In practice, that means Democrats, especially progressives, favor weaker law enforcement, easier conditions for bail (even for those charged with violent offenses), and less funding for police officers. That message was encapsulated in the slogans "defund the police" and "reimagine policing," which took hold in 2020 after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis cop.