The horrifying slayings of eight law enforcement officers in the past 10 days may come back to haunt Democrats funding protests against police behind the scenes in hopes of energizing black voters in November.
Instead of juicing turnout for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the unrest may wind up backfiring by whipping up public sympathy for police and creating an opportunity for Republicans to run on a law-and-order message, analysts say.
“The proof of that will be on Election Day. But I would say the problem with the strategy is that it has contributed to a climate of support for law and order, and that, I think, is an immense advantage for Donald Trump,” said political analyst Floyd Ciruli.
“It’s a theme Republicans have often used, and frankly helped elect Richard Nixon in the similarly tumultuous year of 1968,” Mr. Ciruli said. “So I think this is an advantage for Trump, and I think it has contributed to his most recent strength demonstrated in a number of polls where he’s at least closing the gap.”
A surge of Black Lives Matter protest marches pegged to the high-profile deaths of two black men shot by police in early July has been followed by attacks on officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in both cases by young black gunmen who had accused police of racism.