Another issue that turned the Democrats’ 1960s Great Society dreams into 1970s national malaise was out-of-control violent crime in major cities. That has also come roaring back as major urban areas grapple with a spike in homicides, threatening to make law-and-order a campaign wedge issue for the first time in decades.
Biden has tried to distance the Democrats from causes like “defund the police,” which have contributed to low law enforcement morale in cities reeling from violence and hurt the president’s party in swing districts last year. But vocal, up-and-coming young Democrats have taken up the idea of transferring resources away from the police for social welfare spending, leading some voters to wonder whether Biden speaks for the party as much as left-wing New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
High percentages of voters have disapproved of Biden’s handling of crime and gun violence for months. An ABC News poll in early July found that just 38% backed Biden’s handling of crime, while 48% disapproved.