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Poll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime

A vast majority of voters say more police are needed on the street amid concerns over a rise in violent crime across the country, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said more police are needed on the street while only 25 percent say they do not need more cops on the beat.

Seventy-two percent of voters also said they oppose “defunding the police,” and a slim 52 percent majority said they support the controversial practice of stop and frisk in urban areas to “deter gun crime.” Fifty-six percent also say they oppose eliminating cash bail. 

Despite the support for those tough-on-crime messages and measures, 57 percent of voters also say marijuana should be decriminalized.

“Crime is becoming the next crisis in America with overwhelming numbers seeing an increase in crime and Americans want stricter not looser enforcement of laws,” said Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey.

“The voters do agree with [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on one point — now is the time to legalize marijuana, a surprising finding in contrast to the public’s views on other laws,” he said.

The poll comes as concerns about violence make it a top issue heading into the 2022 midterms, with Republicans looking to seize on the issue to cast Democrats as soft on crime. 

President Biden has looked to get out in front of the issue, calling in June for more gun control and further investments in the police to tackle crime.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,788 registered voters was conducted from July 28 to 29. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. Respondents are recruited via voter panel providers on a randomized basis and their responses are then weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative poll conducted online, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags Chuck Schumer defund the police Joe Biden Mark Penn
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