In case you were wondering why Joe Biden and Merrick Garland gave that press conference about violent crime, it was bad internal polling that set off alarm bells among Democrats.
“Growing concerns about violent crime coincide with some of Biden’s weakest job-approval numbers to date. In the latest survey, the president’s approval among all Americans — which remains higher than Donald Trump’s at any point during his presidency — is nonetheless down 4 points from late April (to 50 percent), while his disapproval rating is up 6 points (to 43 percent).
Rising worries about crime among both Democrats and Republicans are starting to create a drag on President Biden’s approval rating, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and could signal larger challenges for the president’s party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The survey of 1,592 U.S. adults, which was conducted from June 22 to 24, found that a significant majority (55 percent) now describe “violent crime” as a “very big problem” in the United States — far more than the share who checked that degree of concern for the coronavirus pandemic (36 percent), race relations (39 percent), the economy (41 percent) or political correctness (39 percent). …
Republicans and Democrats continue to disagree sharply, however, about what is causing the spike in violent crime and what can be done about it. Democrats who believe violent crime is increasing cite “rising gun sales” (66 percent) and “systemic racism” (62 percent) as the top reasons for this; Republicans (69 percent) and independents (62 percent) cite “the racial justice movement” itself. …
Majorities of Americans now say they are more worried about crime in their communities (51 percent) than police brutality against minorities (37 percent); that violent crime is increasing because of “the racial justice movement” (56 percent); and that police are either not tough enough on offenders (31 percent) or about right (20 percent). Most Americans (57 percent) also say they are worried about “the breakdown of law and order in American cities.”
Several months ago, we predicted that COVID would fade over the summer and that violent crime would become the new hot issue. Today, a clear majority of Americans blame “the racial justice movement” for “the breakdown of law and order in American cities” and the overwhelming majority are more concerned about rising crime in the communities than systematic racism and police brutality.
Note: We’re going to bludgeon the Democrats with this stick from now through the 2022 midterms. We also haven’t even gotten started yet.