Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Democrats' wake-up call

Eric Adams

Eric Adams, a former cop who leads the New York mayoral race, speaks last night at the Schimanski nightclub in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Democrats, in private and public, are warning that rising crime — and the old and new progressive calls to defund the police — represent the single biggest threat to their electoral chances in 2022.

Why it matters: There has been a big spike in big-city crime, a dynamic increasingly captured in local coverage and nationally on CNN and Fox News.

The latest: Democrats say it's no coincidence that Eric Adams, the leader in the New York City mayoral race, ran against defunding the police.

  • Adams, who retired as an NYPD captain after a 22-year law-enforcement career, held a lead in yesterday's Democratic mayoral primary. Final results could take weeks because of the election's complex ranked-choice voting. Andrew Yang conceded.
CNN graphic on gun violence
Graphic: CNN

The big picture: Homicide rates in large cities — many of them run by Democrats — were "up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year," foreshadowing a violent summer, the N.Y. Times reported June 1.

  • President Biden sees this rising threat, and plans to roll out anti-crime plans at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

The N.Y. Times' Tom Friedman, one of Biden's favorite columnists, writes Wednesday under the headline "Want to Get Trump Re-elected? Dismantle the Police":

  • "As for policing, this issue could really sink Democrats. For example, big swaths of my old hometown, Minneapolis, have been turned into a dangerous and dystopian ghost city, wracked by gun violence, since the police murder of George Floyd."

WashPost front page on Wednesday, top of column 1, "Cities at a loss as murder rates soar": "The killings rolled over the country like a fast-moving storm. From Savannah to Austin, from Chicago to Cleveland."

  • "In six hours one night this month, four mass-shooting attacks. And in their wake, a sober recognition from city leaders that they don’t have many options left for curbing a surge in homicides that is traumatizing communities nationwide."

What's next: Republicans plan to use Dems' defund-the-police rhetoric as a major issue in next year's midterms.

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