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Huge majority of NYC voters want more cops on the streets

AP Photo/Kevin Hagen

We’re barely two weeks away from the mayoral primary election in New York State and the crowded field of Democrats still hasn’t thinned out significantly. Since this is the Big Apple we’re talking about, the Democratic primary is basically the same as the general election, so the candidates are pulling out all the stops. But as this race has dragged on, one thing has become increasingly clear. Anyone running on a hard-left progressive platform with a focus on “police reform” (the new buzzword for defunding or abolishing the police) is falling by the wayside. That much became evident when a new Ipsos poll dropped this week. Rather than focusing strictly on the candidates, the polling firm asked which issues were of most importance to likely voters and what positions they support. The top issue for a significant majority was “crime or violence,” and when asked whether they wanted to see more or fewer police on the streets, the results weren’t even close. New Yorkers want the NYPD back at full strength and doing its job.

A large majority of likely voters in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary want more cops on the street, according to a recent NY1/Ipsos poll.

Seventy-two percent of likely voters polled in May agreed with the statement “The NYPD should put more officers on the street.” And 46 percent said “crime or violence” is the main problem facing the Big Apple.

Spurred by shifting public sentiment over skyrocketing rates of violent crime, Democratic mayoral candidates have abandoned calls from the left wing of their party to “defund the police.”

This result is pretty much consistent with other recent polls that have come out. Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, has overtaken Andrew Yang for the lead in the latest numbers. Adams, who is Black, has promised to curb the skyrocketing violent crime numbers and work with the NYPD to do so. This week he told reporters that he blames “a lot of young white affluent people” for pushing the movement to defund the police. Yang has also said that he opposes defunding or abolishing the police.

Meanwhile, AOC has jumped into the fray, offering her endorsement to Maya Wiley. Both Wiley and AOC have embraced the “defund the police” message.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley on Saturday in the race for New York City mayor, a sign of growing progressive momentum behind Wiley’s campaign with less than three weeks until the June 22 Democratic primary.

Wiley now has the support of two of the state’s highest profile members of Congress in Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

It’s worth noting that Wiley now has the endorsement of two of the most progressive members of Congress from New York City. And yet in the last poll posted last night, she’s still in single digits while Adams and Yang are sucking up almost 40% of the total support available between them. This really should be sending a message to Democrats at the national level because it certainly appears as if we’re observing a microcosm of the national picture in Gotham right now.

Remember, we’re not talking about some rural tract of farmland in Oklahoma. This is New York City, arguably the biggest liberal hotbed in the country. And the candidate drawing support from “the squad” in DC appears to be floundering while two candidates who have rejected their party’s national message about police reform seem to be ascendant. None of this means that New York City voters are ready to turn the clock all the way back to the early 90s and elect a Republican, but they’re also clearly not buying what AOC and her friends are selling. Liberal theories are all well and good on the campaign trail when they remain just that… theories. But when somebody is shoving a gun in your face at a stoplight and then zooming away with your SUV, the situation changes significantly.