• Polling

Rebutting Conservative Attacks on Crime and Public Safety

Thursday, October 6, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways

  • Americans continue to see crime increasing more nationally than in their local community.
  • Americans are increasingly concerned by mass shootings and gun violence when thinking about rising crime, both of which are seen as concerns by majorities.
  • A range of rebuttals to conservative criticism on crime focus on Republicans as “hypocrites” led by officials facing investigations themselves, that they’re deflecting from their plan to criminalize abortion, and that they’ve given control to extremists who support political violence.

Top Congressional Priorities: Inflation, Economy, Immigration, Abortion; Lower Priorities Include Crime, Pandemic

While most Americans want a focus on inflation and the economy, they see Biden and Congress focused on abortion and climate.

  • Republicans are driving the share who want Congress to be focused on crime: 29% of Republicans say that crime is in their top four issues they would like Biden and Congress to focus on, while just 7% see them focused on it.

Biden and Democrats Much More Trusted on Hate Crimes, Less So on Reducing Violent Crime and Funding the Police

Among independents, Biden and Democrats are more trusted by 10 points to address hate crimes, while Biden and Democrats are underwater by 2 on reducing violent crime and by 13 on funding local police departments.

  • On funding the police, Hispanic Americans trust Democrats more by 1 point and AAPI Americans trust Democrats more by 4.

Perception of Rising Crime Remains More National Than Local

Republicans who regularly watch Fox News are much more likely to say that crime nationally (90%) and locally (66%) is increasing compared to their non-Fox News-viewing Republican counterparts (76% and 50%, respectively). Among those who say crime is a top four issue for Biden and Congress to focus on, 84% say crime is increasing nationally and 59% locally, while among those who do not prioritize it as a top four issue, 61% say it is increasing nationally and just 40% locally.

There Are Growing Concerns Around Mass Shootings and Gun Violence

There has been a 6-point increase in the share who are concerned about mass shootings (from 49% in July 2021 to 55% now) and a 9- point increase in the share who are concerned about gun violence (from 44% to 53%).

Top Rebuttals to GOP on Crime: Hypocrisy, Deflecting From Abortion, and Supporting Political Violence

A majority of Americans find each rebuttal “concerning,” though a hypocrisy message that criticizes Republicans for being led by criminals facing investigations and indictments for fraud, tax evasion, and stealing classified documents is strongest across party

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 997 registered voters from September 22-September 26, 2022. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 87 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org