Poll: Majority of Americans support and sympathize with protesters; disapprove of Trump’s response

June 4, 2020

A new Reuters-Ipsos poll of more than 1,000 Americans has found that the majority sympathize with the protests that have swept across the nation since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis at the hands of police. Conversely, those same people give low marks to President Donald Trump’s handling of the demonstrations.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said they were sympathetic to the protests that have erupted across the nation, while 27% said they were not, and 9% said they were unsure, The Hill reports.

More than 55% of  respondents said they disapprove of the president’s response to the protests—including 40%, who said they strongly disapproved. The percentage of participants who approved, about 33%, was lower than the number of those who approved of the job Trump is doing in general.

And, while 67% of Republicans approved of his response, that figure was about 15 points behind their overall approval of him.

A majority of both self-identified Republicans and Democrats said they approved of the protests but felt property damage and looting undermined the cause, with fewer than 25% of respondents believing the looting was justified.

Although the bulk of the demonstrations have taken place in cities, majorities in rural and suburban areas also expressed sympathy for the protests, with a little more than half of the respondents from rural areas sympathizing and 70% of those in suburban areas saying the same, The Hill notes.

Respondents said they approve of the police response more than they approve of Trump’s response, but a plurality still disapproved. Forty-seven percent of respondents disagreed that the police were doing a good job; compared to 43%, who agreed. A majority of Republicans agreed with the police response while a majority of Democrats disagreed.

A parallel Reuters-Ipsos poll found presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leading Trump by 10 points among registered voters, the widest margin since Biden essentially clinched the nomination in early April.

Research contact: @thehill

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