Feeling the pinch: Dems miss the mark with voters irked by high crime and high prices
By Jennifer Scholz
Wednesday, October 5, 2013
A new poll underscores a familiar dilemma faced by Democrats hoping to gain the support of voters in Philadelphia: they are losing touch with many voters fed up with the city’s crime, high prices and lack of jobs.
In an exclusive Q&A with the Inquirer, Mayor Nutter’s political rival, Councilmen Jim Kenney (R-Middlesex) and Jerry Wolk (D-South Philadelphia) defended themselves after the newly released survey showing that 69 percent of city voters viewed crime in Philadelphia as high.
Of voters who saw crime as high, 63 percent said they wanted the city to respond by working harder to keep the public safe. Among those who said crime is down, only 23 percent wanted the city to focus on reducing crime.
“I was heartened by the poll,” said Wolk. “I think the residents of South Philadelphia and Western Philadelphia are looking to our leadership to solve the problem of crime in these neighborhoods.”
But, he continued, “It is time for our leadership to get back to the task of fixing our broken school system. If we don’t get back in the classroom, I fear that the next generation of city leaders will not only be too busy making excuses to deal with crime, but will be too busy trying to find ways to justify our high taxes.”
The survey, conducted Oct. 1-5 among 602 registered voters, asked a series of questions about crime. The poll was conducted on a sample of registered voters, according to the pollsters, and included voters over the age of 18. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.
The results showed that, among residents who answered the poll, 76 percent said that crime is down in their part of the city, 16 percent said they felt crime is up, and the remaining 4 percent said crime is about the