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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.
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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Go deeper

Updated Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Yang concedes NYC mayor's race, but primary winner may not be named for weeks

Andrew Yang outside a Manhattan hotel as he concedes in his campaign for mayor in New York City on Tuesday night. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Andrew Yang announced Tuesday night that he's dropping out of the New York City mayoral race.

Why it matters: The 46-year-old Democrat gained a following during his 2020 presidential campaign and was an early front-runner in the Democratic mayoral primary, which is for the first time taking place under a ranked choice voting system.

Biden administration to launch drive tackling gun violence spike

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday will announce new strategies to prevent and respond to gun violence, according to senior administration officials.

Why it matters: Officials say the pandemic has seen a surge in gun violence, with the U.S. witnessing mass shootings on a weekly basis this year, per the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. Homicides jumped 30% in large cities in 2020, officials said.

DOJ launches effort to combat gun trafficking

Guns are displayed on a table during a gun buy-back event in Staten Island on April 24, 2021. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday its plan to combat illegal gun trafficking in five U.S. cities by creating a new firearms trafficking strike force.

The big picture: The announcement comes as President Biden is expected to discuss a broader crime-fighting strategy Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.