With major national and statewide increases in murders since the start of the pandemic, crime is shaping up to be a big political football in 2022. In California, it’s already dominating debate in the race for attorney general, and has largely fueled the recall attempts of at least two reform-minded county district attorneys.
Politicians and activists are seizing on the issue for good reason: Polls show voters being increasingly concerned about crime in their communities.
While this is often framed as a red-versus-blue debate, the data shows much broader trends — like the increase in murders — playing out across the nation, regardless of the political makeup or the individual policies of a particular city, county or state. Nationally, there was an unprecedented spike in murders in 2020 — up nearly 30% over 2019, marking the largest single-year increase ever recorded in the U.S.