Crime is on the rise in major cities across the country, and many Republicans running for Senate have put the issue at the forefront of their campaigns.
Recently survey indicates that voters believe Republicans are better equipped to handle the issue that is now more important to them than abortion, just weeks before the November midterm elections.
According to the poll conducted for ABC News by Langer Research Associates in New York City, the economy (89%), education (77%) and inflation (76%) outperformed the topics that voters consider “very important” to as the midterms loomed, but those issues were closely followed by crime at 69%, which topped abortion at 62%.
To better understand whether the GOP’s focus on crime rates in key midterm battleground states takes a bite out of Senate Democrats’ midterm boost in the polls, Fox News Digital got on contacted political pundits on both sides of the aisle to get their assessment.
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Corry Bliss, partner at FP1 Strategies, former CEO of the Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network:
“Democrats fielded sharp-eyed candidates sporting Defund the Police T-shirts as voters see cities in critical swing states like Milwaukee and Cincinnati overtaken by violent crime. Any Democratic candidate who has dabbled in soft crime policies like eliminating cash bail or Playing nice with radical activists trying to siphon off law enforcement dollars will be seriously challenged as some voters feel unable to safely walk down their neighborhood street.”
Robert Cahaly, Senior Strategist and Pollster at Trafalgar Group:
“I don’t think so [Democrats] have some momentum in the medium term. I think the polls of the last three and a half weeks would show that they no longer have any momentum and the GOP’s focus on crime is part of why they no longer have momentum.”
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Lis Smith, former senior adviser to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign and author of Any Given Tuesday, A Political Love Story:
“There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Republicans shutting down campaigns against crime. So any Democratic campaign worth its salt saw these attacks coming. That’s why smart candidates like Mark Kelly, Val Demings, and Tim Ryan (among others) refuted these attacks before they even started. So I don’t think these attacks will have the same resonance as they did in 2020 when Democrats were on the defensive to defund the police.”
Erin Perrine, Vice President of Tag Strategies, former Communications Director for Sen. Ted Cruz, and former National Press Secretary for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy:
“Americans across the country have seen crime rates soar, and Republicans beating up Democrats in competitive races for being soft on crime is working. Beating up his opponent Mandela Barnes for his past support of defunding the police and releasing criminals from jail That message resonates in Wisconsin, which saw some of the most violent riots in 2020. The same can be said for the race in Pennsylvania, where polls have hardened significantly after Dr. Oz and his allies criticized John Fetterman for being pro-criminal and wanting to free a third of the prison population.”
Neil Newhouse, pollster and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies:
“Based on current polling over the past ten days, it looks like the Democrats’ momentum has stalled, with Biden’s numbers flat and generic at a deadlock. That spells trouble for his hope of holding on to the House in November.” .
“There is no question that the GOP has an advantage over crime, as the D’s are still saddled with the ‘defund’ movement of two years ago. Both crime and immigration could play important supporting roles in the campaign, especially if the inflation problem starts to fade. Also, crime is a top concern among suburban women, a key component of this case.”
Hari Sevugan, former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and founding partner of Narrator Message and Media:
“Democrats are at their highest level of support since June in the latest average of 538 congressional ballots. Democrats now have a lead of up to 5 points in this morning’s Reuters poll. In the latest Fox News poll , Democrats have gained 10 points since May, and three points in the last month alone against Republicans. None of this is surprising as the cost of gasoline falls and the election among Republicans who want a federal abortion ban and ending Medicare and Social Security as we know them, and the Democrats who have overseen the greatest job growth in 50 years, goes before the voters.”
Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor, Sabato’s Crystal Ball:
“It appears that Republican messaging on crime has played a role in Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin appearing to improve their standing in recent weeks. The other thing is that Republicans are often comfortable talking about crime and They feel they have an advantage on that issue, unlike, say, abortion, where Democrats feel they have an advantage and Republicans don’t.”
Jesse Ferguson, Democratic strategist and former deputy national press secretary and chief spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign:
“These Republican seats in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were always going to be pushed to the limit. People were too bummed about the Democratic prospects here last spring and too optimistic over the summer. The reality is that this was always the trajectory once the campaign got under way.” promised and these will be raffles until election day”.
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Doug Usher, pollster and partner at Forbes Tate:
“I guess the question is where the polls have been and where they’re going, and everything indicates there’s been substantial improvement in some states for Democrats. That includes Pennsylvania and Arizona. There’s been some signs of weakening for some Democrats in Georgia and In New York”. Mexico. I think overall Republican efforts to focus on inflation and crime make sense, but the real wild card here is the extent to which Dobbs’ decision affects turnout.”
“What we’ve seen in recent election cycles is that the polls, especially in swing states, have underestimated or underrepresented Republicans, and in particular Trump’s Republican enthusiasm and turnout. What we saw in Kansas was incredible turnout.” and overwhelming, not only among Democrats, but also among independents and Republicans who focused on abortion, since that was the only issue on the ballot, so it’s important for Republicans to move away from that issue And we’re seeing mixed results in the polls.”
Rory Cooper, CEO of Purple Strategies:
“While it’s hard to determine the exact causes of the movement in the polls, it’s in the GOP’s best interest to keep the focus on the Democrat’s record on crime, education and inflation, three main factors that will change votes. If this election is a referendum on Joe Biden and his party they have a much better chance than if it’s Donald Trump.”
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The comments provided to Fox News Digital in this article are part of a weekend series in which strategists from across the political spectrum are asked the same questions related to burning political issues and given the opportunity to offer their perspective. .