Most Americans Felt Safer During Last Year of Trump's Presidency: Poll

The majority of Americans have said they felt safer in 2020 when former President Donald Trump was in office compared to now under President Joe Biden, a new poll has found.

The survey, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, found that nearly 68 percent of Americans don't feel as safe in the United States as they did two years ago, while 27 percent said they do feel as safe. In addition, 5 percent of people said they weren't sure.

The poll was broken down along party lines, with the vast majority of Republicans (86.8 percent) reporting that they don't feel as safe, with Democrats showing that they are nearly split on the matter.

Most Democrats—47.8 percent— said they feel as safe in 2022 as they did in 2020. However, an almost equal number, 44.9 percent, said they do not. Just over 7 percent of Democratic voters were undecided on the matter. Among independents, 64.1 percent said they don't feel as safe, and 30.9 percent said they felt just as safe.

Americans Felt Safer in 2020: Poll
A Newark police car patrols on the corner of Clinton Pl. on June 30, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. The majority of Americans felt safer in 2020 when Former President Donald Trump was in office compared to now under President Joe Biden, a poll has found. Stephanie Keith

The poll surveyed 1,079 people between September 17 and September 20 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percent. The pollster says that 39.3 percent of those contacted for the survey were Democrats, 35.6 percent were Republicans, and 25.1 percent were "non-partisan/other."

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.

According to the nonprofit law and public policy institute Brennan Center for Justice, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, violent crime rates rose.

"Amid a series of interlocking crises, violent crime and some types of property crime rose across the country in 2020 in communities of all types," the center states on its website. "It is too soon to talk with precision about national crime trends in 2021, as the FBI has yet to publish national data. However, preliminary information suggests that increases in murder rates may have begun to slow."

The center said that as gun violence surged in 2020, the murder rate in the U.S. rose by nearly 30 percent and assaults rose by more than 10 percent.

It also added that despite "politicized claims that this rise was the result of criminal justice reform in liberal-leaning jurisdictions," the murders increased equally in cities controlled by Democrats and Republicans.

"This data makes it difficult to pin recent trends on local policy shifts and reveals the basic inaccuracy of attempts to politicize a problem as complex as crime," the Brennan Center states.

In a report released in August, the Major Cities Chiefs Association found that a number of major U.S. cities and counties have seen an uptick in homicides. In a press release, the association said that since 2019, its member cities "have experienced a 50% increase in homicides and a roughly 36% increase in aggravated assaults."

"These shocking numbers demonstrate how the sustained increase in violent crime has disproportionately impacted major urban areas," the report added.

After facing attacks from Republicans claiming that Democrats are soft on crime, House Democrats passed a criminal justice package on Thursday to bolster the budgets of small local police departments around the country.

"This is smart investment, smart policy," Virginia Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger said before Thursday's vote. "And at this moment, we should have the common commitment to keeping America's communities safe."

While the legislation likely won't gain momentum in a deadlocked Senate, the timing of the package could be critical for Democrats stuck fighting off GOP accusations of wanting to "defund" the police with less than 50 days until the 2022 midterm elections.