Crime fear focus at first debate
USA Today - 09/27/2016
The 1980 presidential race between Jimmy Carterand Ronald Reagan occurred at a time when the nation’s murder rate, as reported by the FBI, was ata record high, yet neither candidate made reference to it during their lone debate. Indeed, matters concerning crime and justice do not ordinarily play a prominent role in presidential campaigns. After all, besides a limited array of federal offenses (e.g., trafficking in illegal drugs, stolen weapons, or indentured persons), most crimes fall under state or local jurisdiction.
Of course, there is nothing ordinary about this year’s campaign. With heightened concerns over domestic terrorism, mass shootings, and police use of deadly force,Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been compelled to focus on crime, as they did in their first one-on-one debate.