Could a Spike in Crime Really Upend Politics in New York City?

by Jan Frazier

New York City (Washington Insider Magazin ) A group of young men attacked a rival gang in Brooklyn last July. Davell Gardner, Jr. – a one-year-old child – was killed and three young men were wounded. Because of Gardner’s death, New York City has been feeling a surge in violent crimes.

In total, the shootings in New York City have risen “by 97 percent from 2019 to 2020; murders rose by 45 percent over the same period.” These percentages are recognized in “low-income Black and Latino neighborhoods.”

Voters become more conservative whenever people believe that criminal offences are real. 

There have been times recently that the crimes have increased in middle-class areas as well. Even tourist areas have been affected.  There was a “daytime execution-style murder in Park Slope” as well as a crossfire in Times Square which wounded three tourists.  Even a gang rape occurred in Central Park.

New Yorkers had thought that these were all lawless scenes from the past, but the current happenings are real.

Homicides, murders, and other acts of violence are just a fraction of what they were in the 1990’s. when crime was at its highest.  However, “the sharp pace of the rise in incidents has scrambled the politics of the crowded race for New York City major.”The Democratic primary will be held on June 22, and public safety will undoubtedly be the top issue. 

New York City’s politics has been shifting towards the left in the past few years. However, all of these current crimes have “benefited the field’s more moderate candidates.”

Christina Greer, a political scientist at Fordham University and co-host of the New York City politics podcast “FAQ NYC,” reported, “Whether it’s real or perceived, when people feel like crime is increasing, voters tend to become more conservative in their likes.”

New Yorkers now tend to believe that “more police and tougher punishments are needed to stem the tide of violence.” The people of New York City are looking at which mayoral candidate has the “short-term answers to the uptick in crime.”


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