The New York Mayoral Primary

Earlier this week, after much grinding through the complex ranked-choice voting system, AP called the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York for Eric Adams. Today the WSJ has this editorial. “Perhaps the city that these days never sleeps safely has a chance to reverse its eight-year downward spiral under mayor Bill de Blasio.”

Perhaps, but that is a very tall order.

Other Democrats have slowly figured out they have a crime problem. But unlike Mr. Adams, they still attribute it almost entirely to guns, rather than the progressive vilification of police that has left neighborhoods unprotected. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week called gun violence a state emergency and signed new gun-control legislation. He’d do better to repeal the state’s bail reform law, which frees suspects of grave crimes to return to the streets as they await a trial.

Mr. Adams is not the ideal candidate. If I lived in New York, I would vote for Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa in the general election, though there is not much chance of him winning.

Even so, the fact that the toughest-on-crime candidate in the field won the Democratic primary in our largest city is a very big deal. The reality of crime is gradually waking America up from its wokeness delusion. The awakening is not uniform. We did have the deep disappointment in Philadelphia in May. But I believe we have already passed the point of inflection. That is, the pro-crime movement’s momentum slowed a while back. The turnaround is coming, and this result may be an indication that America is finally ready to start moving in the right direction again.

Update: Nicole Gelinas has this extensive article in the City Journal on the race, past mayors, and the ups and downs of crime in New York.

As in past elections, crisis has created single-issue clarity, with crime again defining the mayoral race. In the spring of 2021, nearly half—46 percent—of potential Democratic voters ranked crime and public safety as their top issue, the single most important issue by far, according to a Manhattan Institute poll, mirroring other surveys’ results. Back in 2013, by contrast, a New York Times exit poll showed that only 14 percent of primary voters viewed crime as the city’s top concern.

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The top-tier mayoral candidates quickly got that message. No 2021 candidate rose to the top three polling positions—or stayed there in the final few weeks of the race—by musing about the tale of two cities, as de Blasio had done. Instead, the race quickly coalesced around three candidates who gradually honed tough-on-crime messages. The three consistent front-runners in the final months of the race—Adams, Garcia, and Yang—showed a willingness to ignore left-wing anti-law-enforcement orthodoxy on public safety. Instead, they agreed: police have a big role in cutting crime.