Poll: 83% of Voters Expect Crime to Be an Important Issue in Midterm Elections

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Most voters think “crime is getting worse in America,” and 83 percent believe it will be an important issue in the midterm elections, a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Tuesday found. 

According to the poll, 65 percent of voters think violent crime in America is “getting worse.” Only 11 percent think crime is improving, and 22 percent say it is staying the same. Rasmussen Reports surveyed 1,000 likely U.S. voters between Feb. 17-20. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Out of the 83 percent who think violent crime will be important in this year’s congressional elections, 56 percent believe it will be “very important.” A mere 16 percent do not think the issue will carry weight in the midterms. Out of voters who think violent crime is on the rise, 78 percent say it will be “very important” in the midterms. 

Half of the voters think “the Biden administration’s policy for dealing with violent crime is worse than the Trump administration’s policy.” Twenty-nine percent think Joe Biden is handling crime better than Donald Trump, and 17 percent think their tactics are “about the same.”

Broken down by political affiliation, 79 percent of Republicans, nearly half of Democrats (48 percent), and 70 percent of unaffiliated voters think violent crime is on the rise. Democrats are more optimistic than Republicans (7 percent) and unaffiliated voters (4 percent), with 20 percent saying violent crime is “getting better.” Thirty percent of Democrats, 24 percent of unaffiliated voters, and 13 percent of Republicans think violent crime is “staying about the same.”

Republicans are the most likely to believe the Biden administration’s handling of crime is worse than Trump’s at 78 percent, compared to half of the unaffiliated voters and 22 percent of Democrats. However, more than half of Democrats (52 percent) think violent crime will be “very important” in the midterms, along with 66 percent of GOP voters and 48 percent of unaffiliated voters.

President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are least likely to believe crime is getting worse. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 30 percent say the problem of violent crime in America is getting worse,” according to the survey. “By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, 93 percent think the violent crime problem is getting worse.”

A majority of every racial category “believe that the problem of violent crime is getting worse, and expect the issue to be very important in the November midterm elections.”

“However, fewer black voters (35 percent) than whites (52 percent) or other minorities (51 percent) say the Biden administration’s policy for dealing with violent crime is worse than the Trump administration’s policy,” the poll report states. 

Women are slightly more concerned than men about crime — 70 percent of women and 60 percent of men say violent crime is getting worse. Women are also more likely to think crime will be a top priority in congressional elections. 

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