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Democratic Party Again Given Notice on Crime as a Major Issue Ahead of 2024 (UPDATED)

Democratic Party Again Given Notice on Crime as a Major Issue Ahead of 2024 (UPDATED)

[Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s defeat] “is one more data point demonstrating the political perils for Democrats who don’t persuade voters they are sufficiently tough on crime.” –The Hill

As the political jockeying for position ahead of the 2024 campaign season gets underway, crime is emerging yet again as a problem for Democrats, and it’s an issue that has the potential to hurt not just Joe Biden but also his fellow party members in down-ballot races – even in Democrat-friendly parts of the country.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot learned this the hard way earlier this week, but she’s not the only one, as The Hill notes. There have been other Democrats in recent years who have also suffered the same political fate in part due to their soft-on-crime stances:

Still, [Lightfoot’s loss] is one more data point demonstrating the political perils for Democrats who don’t persuade voters they are sufficiently tough on crime.

Back in 2021, several progressive candidates hoping to become mayor of New York City were vanquished by Eric Adams (D), a former police officer and centrist, in the Democratic primary.

The same year, voters in Minneapolis — the city where George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in 2020 — emphatically rejected a ballot measure that would have supplanted the police department with a Department of Public Safety.

In June 2022, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) was recalled by voters unhappy with his lenient approach on crime.

And even though Democrats suffered fewer losses than expected in last November’s midterms, they were hit hard in New York state, where Republicans gained four House seats and polls showed crime to be among voters’ top concerns.

The 2021 mayoral race in Buffalo was also an example of a soft-on-crime “Defund the Police” radical (and one endorsed by AOC) getting soundly rejected by voters.

And as the Washington Times reports, the woke D.C. City Council is giving some Democrats on Capitol Hill headaches after the council easily overrode Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of a bill viewed by Congressional Republicans as soft on crime:

D.C. politicians are scrambling to shore up support among their Democratic Party allies in Congress ahead of a likely vote next week in the Senate on an overhaul of the city’s criminal code. The measure has been approved by the D.C. Council but is criticized by Republicans as being “soft on crime.”

A Republican-authored bill would block the changes to the local criminal code, which would reduce penalties for some violent crimes. Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, has said he plans to join Republicans in voting against the District’s changes.

The White House could bail out the District with a veto of the Republican disapproval measure, but a last-minute save from a reelection-minded President Biden is no guarantee.

Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat facing voters next year in conservative-leaning Montana, hasn’t said how he will vote. He was noncommittal when asked about the District’s massive code rewrite.

Nearly a month ago, the Republican-controlled House voted to overturn the city council’s attempted overhaul of the D.C. criminal code. 31 Democrats joined them, further proving that Democrats are aware of the prickly nature of the looming soft-on-crime debate and are trying to navigate accordingly.

Update – 5:25 pm: Biden tweeted this afternoon that if Senate Republicans overturn the D.C. Council’s criminal code overhaul then he will sign it:

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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2smartforlibs | March 2, 2023 at 3:06 pm

Worked so well in Chicago, didn’t it?

A conservative will believe something when he sees it. But a Dem, like any leftist, will only see something IF he believes it..

PrincetonAl | March 2, 2023 at 3:33 pm

They are still all in on the current pro-criminal path. Only a few moderate Democrats will fuss.

Until they lose a major election, there won’t be a shift.

Their energy will be on reducing election integrity much more than solving crime, so that it doesn’t matter what the electorate thinks or for whom they vote.

The recalls aren’t recalling enough to cause any concerns overall.

Maybe a slight softening of the message, but no more than that – no change in actions is coming.

    CommoChief in reply to PrincetonAl. | March 2, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    They d/prog have too much of their prestige and political capital tied up in the decriminalization narrative to abandon it until they get knee capped on election day. Too many grifters, too much campaign $, too many ‘non profit’ entities and too many of their radicalized base believe this BS.

      Whitewall in reply to CommoChief. | March 2, 2023 at 4:02 pm

      they ‘believe this BS’. Therefore they will not see it. Even if their noses are rubbed in the evidence.

    puhiawa in reply to PrincetonAl. | March 2, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    With rigged elections in NV, GA, AZ, WI, MI, MN, NH, PA, VA, LA etc. it is difficult to see how America will ever be saved from this creepy destruction of America orchestrated by the likes of Obama, Pelosi and their corrupt band of deep state and academia saboteurs.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to PrincetonAl. | March 3, 2023 at 11:19 am

    The crime issue had only a minimal impact on the Midterms. Abortion rights were far more important to the outcome. That trend has continued into special elections in 2023 – with a net 8 point shift to the Democrats relative to 2021. Crime may actually be more important in contests between Democrats, where Abortion is not on the line, than it is in a contest btw Democrats and Republicans.

henrybowman | March 2, 2023 at 3:40 pm

And yet, I am still seeing people promote mindless crap like this.

The_Mew_Cat | March 2, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Maybe in solid Dem run areas crime can be a deciding issue in contests between Democrats, but in swing states, all the Democrats need to do is beat the Abortion drum and they will win every time against any Republican.

    RandomCrank in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | March 2, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    The Rs in some states are slitting their own throats. They should coalesce around a 15-week limit and move on.

      The_Mew_Cat in reply to RandomCrank. | March 3, 2023 at 11:22 am

      That is not possible. The religious base wants Abortion banned nationwide. Period. They believe it is a mandate from God. The GOP needs to religious base, but they are only 30% of the electorate. So, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

BierceAmbrose | March 2, 2023 at 4:30 pm

“political perils”, “persuade voters”, “tough on crime” — oh, my.

How about making people’s lives better, offering spaces to be and do more and different things they want in vibrant, interesting cities? Not getting killed is part of that — hard to party on when you’re dead.

healthguyfsu | March 2, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Here’s your stern warning, Dems. We, the idiot voters of the blue US won’t make you actually pay for it at the national election ballot box, but we have sent you a strongly worded letter.

PS Thanks for brainwashing us into believing anything conservative is inherently more evil than the evils right in front of our own eyes.

Subotai Bahadur | March 2, 2023 at 5:56 pm

If the issue of crime seems to be to be harming Democrats in any theoretical election in 2024, they will handle it by either committing another crime and cheating even more blatantly than in 2020 and 2022, or by declaring a state of emergency and “postponing” them. After all, who would oppose that? The Republicans??

Subotai Bahadur