President Joe Biden is attempting to appeal to swing voters and independents regarding crime little more than two months before the midterms.
Biden will promote his Safer America Plan on Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It will be the president's first campaign trip after returning from his summer vacation.
In an attempt to get out in front of the FBI's fall crime report, Biden's speech will be aimed at swing voters who might join the Democrat's base in backing the party's gun reforms.
Berwood Yost, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Center for Opinion Research in Lancaster, told the Washington Examiner that the speech could hurt the Republican "narrative" that Democrats' policies have failed.
"If the narrative is that the Biden administration and his colleagues in Washington, they have not been successful in the way that they've guided the country, I think you can fit a whole bunch of policies into that," Yost told the Examiner.
"They can say things aren't working, whether it's the economy, whether it's the safety of your local schools or your local community."
With Mehmet Oz, a Republican, in a tight U.S. Senate race against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, D-Pa., Republican National Committee spokeswoman Nicole Morales said families feel "less safe" because of "Democrats' soft-on-crime policies and 'defund the police' rhetoric."
"While crime runs rampant across Democrat-run cities, Democrats like John Fetterman only want to make it worse," Morales said, the Examiner reported. "From the economy to crime, Biden and Democrats are out of touch and failing the American people."
The president's Wilkes-Barre trip comes after two federal judges declined to stop his new ghost-gun rules, which require kits to be serialized and for licensed dealers to undertake background checks before selling them.
Biden next week is expected to take his crime message to the battleground state of Wisconsin, where Republicans criticized Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis. and other Democrats over the violence in Kenosha after the 2020 shooting of Jacob Blake and the bail policies that allowed the release of the man who killed six people with his car during a 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade.
"In a survey I conducted of people who voted in the August primary in Wisconsin, crime and guns were the top issue among Democratic voters, ranking just above inflation," University of Wisconsin-Madison Elections Research Center Director Barry Burden told the Examiner.
"The issue was much less important to Republicans and presumably was more about crime than gun safety."
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