Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

From today’s New York Times:

Crime, homelessness and Democratic divisions over the issues took center stage Tuesday as a liberal prosecutor in San Francisco was recalled and seven states held primaries that helped mold each party’s image heading into November’s fight for control of Congress, statehouses and major cities across the country.

The recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) — whom critics called too lenient — came as angst over liberal leaders’ approach to public safety also loomed large in a contest for Los Angeles mayor, where Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso are projected to advance to a runoff. Caruso, a former Republican, has pitched himself as a different kind of Democrat who will fix long-simmering crises in the nation’s second-largest city.

Soaring inflation, gun violence and abortion rights were on voters’ minds Tuesday as they headed to the polls in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Republicans are seizing on rising costs and crime to try to retake the House and narrowly divided Senate this fall. They have sought to pin those problems on the Biden administration and liberal policies, arguments that resonated with some voters Tuesday.

Turning in their ballots for Caruso together, a group of neighbors wished for “a better future” before taking a selfie. One woman said crime was her biggest concern — her husband’s brother had been robbed at gunpoint the day before in Burbank.

Surrounded by supporters at a bar Tuesday night, Boudin said the recall campaign “exploited an environment in which people are appropriately upset.”

“They were given an opportunity to voice their frustration and their outrage, and they took that opportunity,” he said.

“Looking for someone to blame,” an audience member chimed in.

Democrats are bracing for an uphill battle this fall amid low approval ratings for President Biden and political head winds that the president’s party has historically faced in first midterms. To counter those trends, Democrats are seeking to cast GOP candidates as extremists beholden to Trump.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor