Majority Of Americans Think Crime Is Up. MSNBC Says They’re Just Manipulated By Republicans.

Majority Of Americans Think Crime Is Up. MSNBC Says They’re Just Manipulated By Republicans.

Americans are overwhelmingly convinced that crime has risen in comparison to last year as voters prepare to cast ballots in the midterm elections.

According to a new poll from Gallup, roughly 56% of adults reported an increase in crime where they live, while 78% believe that crime has risen in the nation as a whole, marking the worst sentiment about public safety in three decades. While a far higher percentage of Republicans reported more local crime, Democratic views were essentially unchanged, even as independents’ perceptions leaned toward concerns of increased lawlessness.

On the issue of crime, Republicans boast a 14% lead over their Democratic counterparts in terms of voter trust ahead of the midterms, including a 34% lead among independents, according to a poll from ABC News and The Washington Post. The present election cycle has witnessed several Republican underdogs surging to become viable candidates against Democratic incumbents. In deep-blue New York, for example, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin is posing a surprise challenge to Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul as residents become increasingly worried about public safety and homelessness.

Nevertheless, MSNBC opinion columnist Hayes Brown wrote in an analysis that the Gallup poll shows the “disconnect between the perception of increased crime in an area and whether that purported increase can accurately be measured,” adding that Republican efforts to “frame cities as liberal-created hellscapes” may have shaped sentiment. He referred to nationwide crime data from the Department of Justice which showed that “violent victimization,” which includes violent crimes such as rape and robbery while omitting murder, “did not change” between 2020 and 2021, even as property crimes “had not significantly increased” from the previous 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,” Hayes wrote. “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.”

Meanwhile, many cities have indeed witnessed crime waves even beyond the massive jump seen two years ago, according to data assembled by WalletHub. Cities such as New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs saw increases in their homicide rate per capita between the third quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022. Twelve of the major American cities which set new homicide records last year were run by Democrats.

Noting that “violent crime increases have continued” into this year across much of the country, University of Pennsylvania criminology professor Richard Berk contended that the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and criticism of police force is among the best explanations for the rise in crime over the past eight years.

“Some moderation in the use of force could result from well-meaning responses to past excesses, while some police officers might simply choose to abstain from any encounters for which they might be later criticized, fired, sued, or criminally charged,” he wrote. “Whatever the truth behind such conjectures, one consequence might be to embolden individuals already inclined toward violence; public criticism of the police might be seen as delivering the proverbial get-out-of-jail-free card.”

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