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Poll finds 54% of Minnesota voters think local crime has increased in recent years

Only about 1% of Minnesota voters polled between Sept. 12-14 believe crime has been reduced in their community.

MINNEAPOLIS — Most Minnesota voters feel that crime in their communities has increased over the past several years, according to a new KARE 11/Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll.

Of the 800 voters polled, 54% said crime in their communities appears to have increased recently, while 45% said they believe crime levels have stayed the same. Only about 1% of voters polled said they think crime has been reduced in their community.

Across all polling demographics (region, gender, political affiliation, age, race, etc), voters generally agree that crime has increased over the past several years.

In Hennepin/Ramsey County, southern Minnesota and northern Minnesota, 52% of voters living in each of those regions said they believe crime is going up in their own communities. That number was slightly higher in the metro suburbs at 58%.

Credit: KARE

The biggest deviations were seen among Democrats and Republicans and younger and older voters. About 44% of Democrats said they think crime is increasing; 53% said it’s stayed the same. Among GOP voters, 64% said crime has increased; 36% said it’s stayed the same.

Independent voters fall in the middle, with 54% saying they believe crime has increased.

Less than half of younger voters polled (18-34) said crime has gone up in their communities (49%), compared to 57% of 50-64-year-old voters who believe it’s increased.


Credit: KARE

When posed with the question, is there anywhere you live, within a mile, where you would be afraid to walk alone at night, most voters said “no.”

According to the poll, 83.5% of Minnesotans said there’s nowhere they would feel unsafe walking alone at night, compared to just 16.5% who said there is somewhere they’d feel unsafe near their homes.

Compared to residents in the rest of the state, voters in Hennepin/Ramsey County were more likely to respond “yes” to the question. Twenty-six percent of respondents said yes, there is somewhere they’d feel unsafe walking at night. In the metro suburbs, southern and northern Minnesota, 15% or fewer voters said the same.


The findings of this Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll are based on live interviews conducted Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2022, with 800 Minnesota registered voters who indicated they are likely to vote in the November general election. The poll was conducted for the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio News and KARE 11 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy Inc.

Those interviewed were randomly selected from a phone-matched Minnesota voter registration list that included both landline and cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter registration by county. The interviews were conducted via landline (28%) and cell phone (72%).

The margin of sampling error for this sample of 800 registered voters, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ± 3.5 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or age grouping.

The self-identified party affiliation of the respondents is 35% Democrats, 32% Republicans and 33% independents or other.

Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion surveys, such as nonresponse, question wording or context effects. In addition, news events may have affected opinions during the period the poll was taken.

The demographic profile of this poll of likely voters is an accurate reflection of their respective voter populations. This determination is based on more than 100 statewide polls conducted by Mason-Dixon in Minnesota over the past 34 years – a period that spans eight presidential election cycles that began in 1988.

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