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Manhattan Institute Scholars React to 2022 Midterm Outcomes

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Manhattan Institute Scholars React to 2022 Midterm Outcomes

November 9, 2022
Policing & Public SafetyAll
EducationPre K-12

Charles Fain Lehman reacts to the role public safety played in key races: 

"Though many results are still outstanding, the balance of last night's results suggest that voters' persistent fears about public safety—they routinely ranked it as a top concern in polls—played a significant role in shaping the outcome. Lee Zeldin's strong showing, the closest the losing candidate has come to the governorship since 1994, can almost certainly be explained by his single-issue emphasis on rising crime in the state, and the criminal justice reforms that Hochul backed and which have contributed to the problem. In Wisconsin, the difference between Democrat Tony Evers's successful reelection and Mandela Barnes' (at time of writing) likely narrow loss may be attributed to Barnes's support for the defund the police movement. Even in bright-blue Oakland, California—home of Berkeley—voters turned against progressive prosecutor Pamela Price, preferring her more traditional opponent Terry Wiley for Alameda County District Attorney. In an evening where Republicans underperformed expectations, an emphasis on public safety was still a boost, suggesting that voters across the spectrum still care about a sane criminal justice policy."

Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Listen to a recent episode of his podcast Institutionalized. 

Nicole Gelinas offers a comprehensive reaction to the New York gubernatorial outcome: 

"Governor Kathy Hochul deserves New Yorkers’ congratulations and best wishes as she prepares to begin her first full term. The slim margin of victory, however, in a deep blue state, illustrates constituents’ frustrations over higher crime levels and lower employment levels relative to the last gubernatorial election in 2018. The governor would do well to heed moderate voters’ message that they want to see improvement in the state’s performance."

Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Read her column in New York Post, and catch a recent appearance on Kevin McCullough Radio.  

John Ketcham offers thoughts on how Mayor Adams can instill public safety given no gubernatorial change: 

"Mayor Eric Adams can help Governor Kathy Hochul fulfill her late-October promise to make New Yorkers feel safe, even as the state legislature’s overall appetite for rolling back criminal-justice measures like bail and discovery reform remains low. Adams can start by maintaining a robust police presence and activity in the transit system, which grew sharply in the run-up to the election. Arrests for public-disorder offenses incapacitate some who would commit worse crimes and signal that anti-social behavior has consequences. The upcoming budget process also presents an opportunity for Adams to secure more public safety-related funding from Albany. City budgets must ensure that the NYPD and district attorneys’ offices can recruit enough talented, qualified candidates to enforce and comply with state laws. And mental-health services should better ensure that those with severe mental illness receive and stay on treatment, particularly by rebuilding inpatient psychiatric bed capacity."

John Ketcham is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Read his recent op-ed in City Journal, and a recent mention in New York Post. 

Andy Smarick shares what to expect state education policy to look like given outcomes across gubernatorial races: 

"Although several gubernatorial elections are yet to be called, so far it appears that the top three education issues among winners are school funding, early childhood education, and career and technical education. These issues were discussed most often on winning candidates' campaign websites. Interestingly, all of those issues were embraced by some number of Republicans and Democrats. Among Republican winners, school choice was discussed by candidates most frequently during the campaign. We'll need to keep our eyes on which parties control which state legislatures, but at this point, we should anticipate proposals for more funding and more programming for traditional public schools in blue-leaning states and proposals for more parental options in red-leaning states. If there is cross-party support for any issue, it appears to be growing the number of non-college pathways into the workforce." 

Andy Smarick is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Read his recent op-ed in City Journal. 

Photo by adamkaz/iStock

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