In stark contrast to last summer, more Americans now say violent crime is a “very big problem” in the U.S. than say the same about COVID-19, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

Iran PressAmerica: The survey of 1,588 US adults, which was conducted from May 24 to May 26, found that just 32 percent of them now describe COVID-19 as a very big problem, down from 61 percent last July.

The share who consider violent crime a very big problem, however, has ticked up slightly, to 49 percent, over the same period, making it the top concern ahead of the economy (39 percent), political correctness (39 percent), or race relations (41 percent).

In a certain sense, this isn’t surprising. While mass vaccination has driven COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations to their lowest levels in many months, violent crime has been rising.

A recent report by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that the number of homicides across 32 US cities went up 24 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2020, while aggravated assault rates were up 7 percent and gun assault rates were up 22 percent.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) now believe violent crime is increasing, including 76 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents, and 63 percent of Democrats, according to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll. It’s the rare issue that elicits bipartisan agreement.

The shift suggests policing and public safety could come to dominate US politics as the pandemic subsides, potentially putting the Biden administration and Democratic leaders on the defensive.

The changing politics of crime and race could reverberate in the months ahead. Democrats who believe crime is increasing cite “systemic racism” (69 percent) as the top reason; Republicans (67 percent) and independents (63 percent) cite “the racial justice movement.”

As the US President pushes Democratic and Republican senators to craft and pass a compromise version of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — and as local leaders in largely Democratic cities struggle to respond to rising rates of homicide and assault — these competing interpretations will almost certainly come into conflict, and the political impetus to make progress on race could give way to voters’ concerns about crime.