It seems like all of the mayoral candidates in Memphis think this matters and, presumably, that it matters to city voters. Why would the fact that the winner is almost always going to be a Democrat not matter? Don’t Democrats tend to have certain specific views about crime, policing, mass incarceration, etc.? Don’t Republicans have a reputation for being tougher on crime, more friendly to police and prosecutors, etc.? How can this not matter?
And this brings me to another point that Bump glosses over. Trump’s statement about crime comes in the midst of a national debate about defunding police. Guess which party is most amenable to this idea and which party is least amenable? Actually, it turns out neither party is quite ready to “defund the police” but it’s a close question on the Democratic side.
A large majority of Democratic voters, 82 percent, believe police departments need a complete overhaul or major reforms, compared with just 33 percent of Republicans. Among independents, 60 percent think departments need a complete overhaul or major reforms.
Voters are divided on whether police departments receive too much funding (25 percent), the right amount of funding (26 percent) or not enough funding (28 percent). Only 18 percent of Democratic voters think police departments don’t receive enough funding, while just 8 percent of Republicans say the police get too much funding.
As for the “Defund the Police” movement, it garners support from 48 percent of Democrats, 11 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of independents.
The point is, the fact that Democrats run cities means it’s far more likely some of these left-wing views on policing are going to be adopted in these places. Will it matter? Of course it will! You can argue that it might improve things (which is clearly what Democrats hope) but I don’t think you can argue it doesn’t matter.