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Val Demings speaks with police officers in Orlando
Val Demings speaks with Orlando Police officers, in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 18, 2020.Willie J. Allen Jr. / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

Midterm elections roundup: Republicans escalate attacks on Democrats over crime

It's clear the attacks are taking a toll, and it's not clear whether Democratic attempts to pre-butt them will work.

By and

Inflation and the economy may be the centerpiece of the GOP sell to voters ahead of November’s elections. But in recent months, the party has doubled down on the issue of crime, running ads across the country in key races accusing Democratic messaging and policy of failing to combat crime. 

The harshest example of where that rhetoric has led may have come over the weekend, when Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville claimed Democrats were “pro-crime” because “they want to control what you have” and want “reparations” for “the people that do the crime. 

Democrats saw the “soft on crime” attacks coming, and they’ve taken steps to try to immunize themselves — like passing police funding bills and featuring law enforcement officials in ads meant to serve as validation on the issue. 

But as NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald writes, it’s clear those attacks are taking a toll, and it’s not clear whether the Democratic attempt to pre-but the issue will work. 

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Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Georgia Senate: GOP Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas will campaign with Republican Herschel Walker on Tuesday as the Senate nominee tries to weather the storm related to allegations the candidate, who campaigns on his opposition to abortion access, paid for a partner’s abortion. Former President Trump’s new aligned super PAC, MAGA Inc. booked about $1 million on ads there through the next week, per AdImpact. 

North Carolina Senate: USA Today breaks down the Friday debate between Republican Rep. Ted Budd and Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley. 

New Hampshire Senate: The NRSC is cutting $3 million in ad reservations (per AdImpact) after the nomination of the right-wing Don Bolduc tempered the GOP’s previous enthusiasm about flipping this seat. NRSC communications director Chris Hartline told reporters in a statement the decision came after more outside groups stepped up in the state, and NBC’s Allie Raffa and Haley Talbot report that some of that money will be reallocated to the Georgia race. 

Ohio Senate: Republican J.D. Vance’s non-profit “left only the faintest mark” on Ohio, per a New York Times report on the organization. 

Pennsylvania Senate: The Democratic super PAC Senate Majority PAC launched a new ad targeting Republican Mehmet Oz on abortion. And the New York Times explores whether Lt. Gov. John Fetterman can win over blue-collar voters in GOP counties

Wisconsin Senate: NBC News’ Adam Edelman reports that crime and abortion were the hottest issues during the first debatebetween GOP Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. 

Arizona Governor: Republican Kari Lake was removed from Democrat Katie Hobbs’ town hall event, NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports, for not staying in a hold room while Hobbs was going to be speaking. The episode comes as Hobbs has refused to debate Lake, a decision Hobbs reiterated during an interview on Sunday with CBS

Michigan Governor: The Michigan GOP launched its first ad buy of the governor’s race, reserving $3.5 million on the airwaves, per AdImpact. 

Nevada Secretary of State: Some Democrats are concerned that recent polling is showing election-denying Republican Jim Marchanttoo close for comfort against Democrat Cisco Aguilar, NBC News’ Adam Edelman reports from Las Vegas. 

Illinois-17: Politico reports that, despite Democrats controlling the Illinois redistricting process, they still risk losing an open House seat in the 17th District.