According to CNN, New York Democrats are bracing for “stunning losses” by their party including the possibility the could lose the governor’s race. In anticipation of these losses, the blame game has already begun and the target of blame is going to be Mayor Eric Adams.
Democratic officials and strategists in New York tell CNN they are bracing for what could be stunning losses in the governor’s race and in contests for as many as four US House seats largely in the suburbs.
With crime dominating the headlines and the airwaves, multiple Democrats watching these races closely are pointing to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, accusing him of overhyping the issue and playing into right-wing narratives in ways that may have helped set the party up for disaster on Tuesday.
“He was an essential validator in the city to make their attacks seem more legit and less partisan,” said one Democratic operative working on campaigns in New York, who asked not to be named so as not to compromise current clients…
Rep. Lee Zeldin, Hochul’s GOP opponent, has taken to regularly invoking Adams on the campaign trail, to the point that some Democratic operatives have grimly joked that Zeldin could just run clips of Adams talking about crime as his closing ads.
As you may recall, Adams is a former cop who was elected mayor by emphasizing the same issues that Lee Zeldin has been emphasizing in his run for governor, i.e. the need to bring crime under control and restore a sense of safety to the city.
What CNN doesn’t say is that progressives in NYC have been unhappy about Adams’ focus on crime since before he was elected and have continued to be unhappy about it since he was elected. In fact, Politico published a story back in January about this:
During his first month as mayor of the nation’s largest city, Adams — often clad in an NYPD jacket — has routinely rushed to crime scenes like the beat cop he once was…
…detractors fear his tough-on-crime persona and pro-police policies are a sign that years of hard-won reforms starting in 2013 when Michael Bloomberg was the mayor are at risk of being reversed. That year a landmark ruling found the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk was unconstitutional. Now, nearly two years after the murder of George Floyd forced a national reckoning on race and policing, the city is talking about putting more officers on the streets, protecting the police department from budget cuts and possibly even reinstating a legal version of stop and frisk…
Adams’ approach marks a sharp contrast to deBlasio, who often downplayed spikes in crime, arguing they were driven by a pandemic “perfect storm” that would fade with time.
So progressives have never liked Adams or his focus on crime and safety. No surprise then that they would make him the designated scapegoat if Democrats lose elections to Republicans who are talking about the same issues.
“The concern over crime is real. It is acute,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones, a progressive Democrat who lost a primary to represent parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn after Maloney opted to run for a redrawn suburban seat that also included parts of Jones’ district. “But once this election is over, I hope people have an honest conversation about how Democrats like Eric Adams have validated a hysteria over crime that is uninformed and that has been debunked.”
The idea that the increase in crime has been “debunked” is really something. It’s true that crime in the city isn’t as high as it was 30 years ago but it’s also true that crime has gone up around the country in the past couple years and people are worried about it. What’s especially scary is the random, senseless crime that makes people feel they could be targeted at any moment for no reason at all. Case in point, the female jogger who was raped by a homeless man.
The 43-year-old woman was running around 5:30 a.m. along Pier 45, near West and Christopher streets, when a man grabbed her from behind and choked her until she lost consciousness, police said.
The fiend then knocked her to the ground, took off her clothing and raped her, cops said…
Cops later took a 29-year-old homeless man into custody in connection with the incident after he used stolen credit cards at a Target in Midtown…
Rapes citywide are up nearly 16% so far this year compared to this time period last year, NYPD data show.
In the Sixth Precinct, where the attack happened, rapes are up 22%, data show.
“It’s terrifying. It’s the worst possible fear I have,” said a 35-year-old Midtown resident out for a run near the scene of the rape later Thursday.
Before that shocking crime there were several incidents of people being shoved onto the subway tracks or simply murdered on the trains. And before that there were equally shocking attacks on Asian women, all of whom seemed to be random targets. Again, it’s true that crime isn’t the worst it has ever been in New York but crime is up and the random and violent nature of these attacks makes them scary because no one really knows who the next target will be. And that’s why Gov. Hochul’s decision to downplay crime is a poor gambit which only makes her look out of touch.
Gov. Kathy Hochul claimed during a TV interview Friday that Republicans were winning over voters by being “dishonest” about crime — even as the screen showed double-digit increases in virtually every category across the Big Apple.
On “CNN This Morning,” the Democratic incumbent was asked by co-host Don Lemon what her party wasn’t “getting about crime” and why the GOP was “winning on this issue” before the conversation turned to rescinding bail reform, which she dismissed as “simplistic.”
Here’s the clip:
Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says Republicans and New Yorkers “are being dishonest” about crime as a major issue in this election.
Hochul says she’s actually done a lot to bring down crime. 🤨 pic.twitter.com/1OELp9T135
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 4, 2022
But even Don Lemon gets that this is a legitimate issue for some of the reasons I raised above.
Pressed by CNN’s Don Lemon on the rise in crime in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) says she’s “not denying” that crime is a factor in the state but criticizes GOP messaging:
“If they’re gonna say they’re tough on crime but soft on guns, that doesn’t add up.” pic.twitter.com/w311HjN06N
— The Recount (@therecount) November 4, 2022
Despite all of this, is Kathy Hochul really on the ropes? RCP still has her up 6 points. Maybe the internal polls are worse than the public ones if the recriminations have already started. If I could pick one election night surprise win though, Lee Zeldin beating Hochul would probably be it.