How are candidates talking about crime ahead of midterms?

Elections 2022

Blue police light flashes on a generic crime scene at night in an urban area.

(NewsNation) — Republican candidates vying for elected office from the statehouse to Capitol Hill are plastering the airwaves and hitting the debate stage, accusing Democratic candidates for being too soft on crime.

The ads are adding up and money is pouring in, with this midterm election set to be the most expensive in U.S. history. Ad spending is expected to hit $10 billion by Election Day. Republicans say focusing on crime will be a winning strategy with voters across the country.

So far this year, homicides are down compared to 2021. Total violent crime, however, which includes robbery and aggravated assault, is on the rise, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

The annual mid-year survey found overall violent crime spiked 4.2% compared to the same period as last year. The Economist and YouGov poll taken Oct. 16-18 found crime is “very important” to more than half of the 1,500 U.S. voters asked. More than half say they disagree with the way President Joe Biden is handling these specific issues.

In the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting, where a former student shot and killed 19 children and two teachers, Biden is pushing for a ban on assault weapons. In July, he deployed his Safer America plan, which included $37 billion to fund the police and invest in crime prevention.

“When it comes to public safety in this nation the answer is not defund the police, it’s fund the police,” Biden said during an Aug. 30 speech.

A midterm election during a president’s first term in office isn’t generally kind to the party in the White House, however. In this case, Democrats are on the defense, saying they are working to address crime and pointing the finger back at Republicans for not doing enough to address gun violence.

In Georgia, with contentious governor and Senate races, Atlanta is seeing a rise in burglaries and shoplifting up over 15% since last year.

Ultimately, it’s up to the voters on Election Day.

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