After news of nine mass shootings over the Halloween weekend and the brutal attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, a new Gallup poll says crime is gaining ground as one of the key issues important to Americans at the polls. The economy still ranks as the number one issue for voters, with 85% saying it’s very important, but about 71% mentioned crime as either extremely or very important. By comparison, 66% said the same for abortion. As Straight Arrow News contributor Newt Gingrich argues, this is an issue important to Americans in cities both big and small.
The big surprise in the midterm elections has been the dramatic rise of crime as an issue that is changing elections almost everywhere. In New York, the governor’s inability to understand why New Yorkers are worried about crime, and her saying in a debate to Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate, you know, why does it matter so much at time when people have been killed in the subways, people have been shot randomly, carjackings are way up, the murder rate is way up. I think to the average New Yorker it sounded like the governor was just out of touch with reality.
In Chicago, there’s now suddenly a much closer race, because the Democrats decided that they would pass a no-bail bill which puts criminals back on the street, even though virtually every district attorney in the state, every sheriff and every police chief was opposed to it and said it’s going to increase the crime rate. So suddenly, Governor Pritzker is in a much tougher race than people thought he would be in.
In Pennsylvania, Philadelphians now say overwhelmingly that crime is their number one issue, even higher than the cost of living, even higher than the cost of food or gasoline. And something like 70% of Philadelphians now say that crime is the number one issue that’s affecting them.
So you go state-by-state, when you realize, for example, that in Atlanta, the actual crime rate per capita is about the same as Chicago. So it’s a much smaller town, so it doesn’t get quite the publicity they get for Chicago but this is happening across the country.
And crime is rapidly becoming the number two issue after the cost of living and the economy. And I think it’s come as a huge shock, particularly to Democrats. The news media doesn’t know what to do about it. And of course, every local station, every local newspaper that covers daily crime, is building the momentum for what’s going to happen on Nov. 8. And I think what’s going to happen is a repudiation of liberal anti-police, pro-criminal policies.
It’s something people had not projected back in January, and it has really kind of exploded in the last 45 days.