Crime and Inflation in 2022

Republicans decided months ago to run their midterm campaigns around crime and inflation messaging months ago. Polls suggest it probably is going to work out. We obviously won’t know for a few more days. If the Republicans win at least one house of Congress, we can say it did.

Democrats, particularly activists, are annoyed. How can voters prioritize crime and inflation over saving democracy and Roe? How can they give power back to a seditious political party? How can they reward this party for this message when they have no plan? How?

We’re learning a couple of old truths over, in this case. Some things are just self evident.

1. Voters don’t really like “us” more than “them.” This should be clear by now, but it’s not. Donald Trump is deeply under water in every internal poll I’ve seen this year. Joe Biden is unpopular too. Hillary Clinton is unpopular. So are Ted Cruz and most other national Republicans. Voters don’t see a “good guy” vs. “bad guy” narrative in politics. They know Republicans are bad. They just have a really low view of Democrats too.

2. Voters care more about things directly impacting them than changing the world. If milk, or gas, or heating oil, or chicken, or whatever you buy weekly costs a lot more now than it did before, you care about that. To you, the economy is entering a recession. To you, that is what matters. If people are getting killed in your neighborhood, crime is what matters. Meeting basic needs, like safety, is more important to voters than “systemic change.” We can lecture everyone why that’s wrong, but the public is looking for the government to fix their lives, not change the world.

One more thing to add to this- if there is a “red wave” on Tuesday, we will see some erosion among non-white voters for Democrats, because of the two points I made above. Everyone wants their basic needs met.

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