Pollster Stanley Greenberg, who worked for former President Bill Clinton, blasted Democrats for being “out of touch” and “indefensibly elitist” on crime in the American Prospect.
“I was asked repeatedly by colleagues and campaigning Democrats, ‘What should we be saying on crime and when I’m attacked for ‘defunding the police’?’” Greenberg wrote in the article published Thursday. “To be honest, Democrats were in such terrible shape on crime at this late point, I said, speak as little as possible or mumble.”
New York City and Philadelphia saw crime rates increase in 2021, a year in which six major cities reported record-high levels of violent crime. A Trafalgar poll from September noted that 67.9% of respondents felt less safe than they did two years ago.
Only 37% of respondents approved of President Joe Biden’s handling of crime in a Fox News poll, while 39% approved in Economist/YouGov and Harvard/Harris polls and his approval rating on crime dropped to 33% in a Monmouth poll.
Greenberg accused former President Donald Trump of starting a “race war” in the 2020 election, but said that defeating Trump came with a cost.
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“The battle to defeat Trump’s race war, however, blinded many from seeing the priorities and needs of working-class African American, Hispanic, and Asian American voters. Those were the voters who pulled back from their historic support for Democrats,” Greenberg wrote. “To be honest, many assumed that battling long-standing racial inequities would be their top priority. But that assumption becomes indefensibly elitist when it turns out these voters were much more focused on the economy, corporate power, and crime.”
Greenberg noted that Democrats failed to distance themselves enough from calls to “defund the police” that came from people like Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri, left-wing members of the House of Representatives often called “The Squad.”
“With Democrats so out of touch on crime and the police, just discussing crime cost Democrats,” Greenberg wrote.
The pollster noted that there is little Democrats can do in the 2022 midterm elections to turn their fortunes around on crime.
“Whatever happens on Tuesday, Democrats should start by listening to the voters again and show that they know how to make communities safe, while raising the power and well-being of all working people,” Greenberg wrote.
The Democratic National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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