William Katz:  Urgent Agenda








The FBI released its annual report on national crime in 2021, showing murders slightly increasing above 2020's historic numbers. The data comes just a month ahead of midterms and as voters say crime is one of their top concerns as they head to the polls.

"No question that the GOP has an advantage on crime, as [Democrats] are still saddled with the ‘defund’ movement from two years ago. Both crime and immigration could play important secondary roles in the campaign, especially if the inflation issue begins to fade. Further, crime is a top concern among suburban women — a key constituency this fall," Neil Newhouse, pollster and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, told Fox News Digital earlier this month. 

Murders spiked by nearly 30% in 2020 as the pandemic upended society in unprecedented ways, and as protests and riots demanding that police be defunded erupted during the summer that year. The data marked the largest single-year increase in killings since the agency began tracking the crimes

The murder trend continued in 2021, with FBI data showing murders increased from 22,000 in 2020 to an estimated 22,900 in 2021, marking a 4.3% increase.

For voters, crime looms large ahead of Election Day on Nov. 8.

Polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans see violent crime as a major problem ahead of Election Day, including in a Politico-Morning Consult poll published this week and similar findings from Gallup last month. Crime is often joined by the economy and inflation as top concerns for voters.

The managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a campaign and elections newsletter from the University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Politics, told Fox News Digital that it’s unclear whether the FBI report specifically will make any difference to the campaigns but noted that Republicans have leaned into hammering crime on the campaign trail.

COMMENT:   Crime is a major issue wherever it affects residents or their families.  It's also a big issue for parents who send their children to out-of-town school. 

And yet, I fully expect that millions of voters in Democratic big cities will continue to vote Democratic despite their party's catastrophic record on crime.  These are ideological voters who often see criminals as victims of society.  Or, they're people who believe it will never happen to them.  But many voters are sobering up on crime.  There's nothing to concentrate the mind faster than being mugged, or watching in a store as looters strike, laughing all the way.  Crime is an issue you feel,  it's not theoretical.  That's what Republicans must bring home to voters, even as the left-wing press asks, "Crime?  What crime?"

October 6, 2022