WASHINGTON – With numerous polls showing Americans increasingly concerned about rising crime, Republican candidates nationwide are highlighting the issue in an effort to reach swing voters.
On Wednesday, Ohio GOP senate candidate J.D. Vance declared himself as a “law and order” candidate while campaigning with Donald Trump Jr.
“I think American citizens, whether they’re rich or poor, black or white, deserve to live in safe communities,” said Vance in an interview with Fox News following the back the blue event.
The latest polls show Vance and his opponent, Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, in a close contest. Ryan, who held events in Columbus on Thursday, refused to cede the issue to the GOP.
“People want to pick up the phone and be able to have a police officer respond. Of course, you got to get rid of bad cops, but we need more good cops, and we need better paid cops,” Ryan told Fox in an interview.
Traditionally the crime issue has impacted races in larger communities. However, given the rise in crime since the pandemic, the issue has gained traction in the heartland. On Wednesday, crime was a key topic of Kansas gubernatorial debate. Incumbent Democratic candidate Gov. Laura Kelly vowed to address crime through boosting the state’s economy.
“We know that a lot of time crime results from poverty, and so as we develop our economy, and we get people good jobs, I think that will contribute to the law” said Gov. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., during the debate.
A recent Fox survey, of registered voters, found voters give the GOP a more favorable rating on the crime debate by a 13 point margin.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 9-12, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.