Poll: Voters oppose ‘Defund the Police’ but back major reforms

“While nearly 60 percent agree police departments are in need of major reforms, voters remain skeptical of the ‘Defund the Police’ movement,” said Kyle Dropp, co-founder and chief research officer at Morning Consult.

The disparity suggests the mood of the electorate three weeks after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis puts both political parties on the defensive: Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are exploring reforms to policing — while Democrats, including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, are keeping the activists calling for localities to “Defund the Police” at arm’s length.

A large majority of Democratic voters, 82 percent, believe police departments need a complete overhaul or major reforms, compared with just 33 percent of Republicans. Among independents, 60 percent think departments need a complete overhaul or major reforms.

Voters are divided on whether police departments receive too much funding (25 percent), the right amount of funding (26 percent) or not enough funding (28 percent). Only 18 percent of Democratic voters think police departments don’t receive enough funding, while just 8 percent of Republicans say the police get too much funding.

As for the “Defund the Police” movement, it garners support from 48 percent of Democrats, 11 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of independents.

Voters were evenly split on redirecting funding from law enforcement to community development programs. A split-sample experiment also found no significant difference in the results whether respondents were asked about redirecting funding in their local communities or in police departments across the country.

Also in the poll, 72 percent of voters say things in the country are now on the wrong track, the highest “wrong track” number the poll has recorded in the Trump era.

The poll shows 40 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, essentially unchanged from 39 percent last week. A majority, 57 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,987 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a global data intelligence company, delivering insights on what people think in real time by surveying tens of thousands across the globe every single day.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents: Toplines | Crosstabs

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