Report: Crime is the dominant issue in New York City mayoral race

The Washington Post offers a look at the leading Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City. There are four of them: Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia, and Andrew Yang.

According to the Post, Adams is the frontrunner. He’s ahead in the polls, and 18 of the 26 New York political consultants, lobbyists, strategists, and other influential New York political figures interviewed by the Post predict that Adams will win.

Predicting the outcome is made complicated, however, by the city’s new ranked-choice voting.

Why is Adams ahead of the field? Because he’s the one Democrat who takes a hard line on crime. Says the Post:

Adams, a moderate Democrat, former police officer and Brooklyn borough president, praised Mike Bloomberg — who championed an aggressive policing method called “stop and frisk” — as one of his favorite mayors in the city’s history. He even credited former mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is reviled among New York Democrats, for “taking on some dysfunctionality in the government,” while offering broader criticisms of his tenure. . . .

He has called for more police on the streets, not fewer.

This seems like a winning message at a time when violent crime continues to rise in New York City. The Post denies that, objectively speaking, violent crime is a big deal. It relies on the fact that crime hasn’t reached the levels of the 1980s and early 1990s.

But that’s small consolation to those who actually live in the city — the folks who should know. The Adams campaign says that crime had been the top issue in every campaign poll. It’s the issue that has driven Adams to first place in the polls.

If Adams wins, his victory will send a strong message to Democrat pols throughout America. Whether that message would be sufficient to cause Democratic candidates to step back from BLM’s anti-cop policing agenda and begin to take law and order seriously is a separate question.

What of Adams’ main rivals? One of them, Maya Wiley, is all-in on the BLM anti-police agenda, and has received the endorsement of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as her reward. Wiley promises to slash the size of the police force. In a recent debate, she would not even commit to having police officers armed, although she later did.

Wiley might make a good mayor of Fantasy Land, but not New York.

Wiley represents the Mayor de Blasio wing of her party. Tellingly, though, she says she is not seeking de Blasio’s endorsement. The other three leading candidates have said the same thing.

Garcia is the establishment’s choice for mayor. She’s a longtime city official and former Sanitation Department commissioner.

Garcia surged in recent polls after securing major endorsements. She purports to stand for good, efficient government.

New York City could use that after de Blasio’s reign. But if voters want safer streets above all, they likely will turn to Adams.

Yang, of course, is the guy who punched slightly above his weight during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season. In the mayoral race, he led early on in some polls, but has faded.

The Post attributes Yang’s fade to “attacks for never voting in a New York City election, leaving during the pandemic, running after he lost his presidential bid, having little management experience, and not being previously involved in the city.”

The word dilettante comes to mind.

Election day is tomorrow.

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