September 30, 2022
Progressive Backlash in California Fuels Democratic Debate Over Crime

Election results in San Francisco and Los Angeles were the latest signs of a restless Democratic electorate that remains deeply unsatisfied and concerned about public safety.

LOS ANGELES — Progressive Democrats were knocked on the defensive in their own party over crime and homelessness on Wednesday after voters in two high-profile California races delivered a stark warning about the potency of law and order as a political message in 2022.

The landslide recall of a progressive prosecutor in San Francisco, Chesa Boudin, and the strength of a Republican-turned-Democratic mayoral candidate in deep-blue Los Angeles, Rick Caruso, who ran relentlessly as a crime-fighter eager to clean up the streets, showed the extent to which voter anxieties about public safety have taken hold — even in some of the most progressive corners of the nation.

The results offered fresh evidence of the depths of voter frustration in major American cities about quality-of-life issues. They were also the latest signs of a restless Democratic electorate that was promised a return to normalcy under President Biden and yet remains unsatisfied with the nation’s state of affairs.

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