Tapping into crime fears, GOP conflates mayhem with protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are trying to convince voters that the rare looting and violence that marred largely peaceful social justice protests foretell a wave of mayhem to come if Democrats are elected in November. Democrats say the tactic is designed to distract voters from President Donald Trump’s failures over the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. The GOP spearhead comes with polls showing that Trump’s reelection and Republican control of the Senate may be in jeopardy in November’s voting. It also follows weeks of protests after the killing of George Floyd by police and a response by Trump that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is a “symbol of hate.”