Americans more polarized over racial justice protests after Jacob Blake shooting, favor Biden over Trump: Poll

According to the poll by Ipsos, more Americans have supported the recent protests following the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but sharp divisions are emerging along racial and party lines


                            Americans more polarized over racial justice protests after Jacob Blake shooting, favor Biden over Trump: Poll
(Getty Images)

The US has been witnessing endless violence and instability in the wake of the agonizing death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, while the death of Rayshard Brooks in June and the shooting of Jacob Blake last month have added fuel to the fire. Blake became paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot multiple times in the back in Kenosha. With more politicization, the issue of race relations has turned more volatile in the run-up to the November 3 presidential election. And now, a new poll has shown that the people of America have become increasingly polarized on the question of racial justice.

According to the poll by research firm Ipsos provided exclusively to National Public Radio, more Americans have supported the recent protests following the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but sharp divisions are emerging along racial and party lines. It also found public opinion towards the response that President Donald Trump and his Democratic presidential opponent, Joe Biden, and others are also highly polarized.

Demonstrators chant in front of a burning truck on August 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin (Getty Images)

43% of Americans support protests, 38% don't

Overall, 43% of Americans support the ongoing protests while 38% do not. Nearly 18% said they were not sure. When it comes to the Black Americans, it was found that two-thirds of them back the protests, including 58% who strongly support them. In the case of White Americans, it is only 36%. Forty-four percent of the Hispanic respondents supported the protest.

When seen in terms of party lines, 75% of the Democrats support the protests against only 6% of the Republicans. More GOP supporters were in support of the protests that broke out after the killing of Floyd. In June, nearly 45% of Republicans told Ipsos that they supported the demonstrations against police brutality. "There is a significant shift at the partisan level," Mallory Newall, a pollster at Ipsos, which has also been tracking public opinion on racial justice protests for months, was quoted as saying by NPR. "You are seeing a certain segment of the population that is the Republican base responding to how the president is communicating around these issues."

Biden's response found more favor than Trump's

Biden found more favor among the Americans over his response to the shooting in Kenosha. While 40% of them back the former vice president and 27% oppose, the backing is even bigger among the Black Americans (77%) but less among the White Americans (32%). Trump’s response to the shooting has found only 27% support and it got an appalling 11% backing from the Black Americans.

Trump supporters and Trump protesters watch as the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump passes by on September 1, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin (Getty Images)

 

Trump’s response, however, received support from 69% of Republicans while Biden was backed by 76% of the Democrats. The two presidential candidates came up with contrasting responses to the protests. Trump met the police and visited a section of Kenosha which got damaged in the rioting, Blake’s family said. The incumbent condemned the violence as “domestic terrorism” and defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old White right-wing man, who has been accused of shooting at the protesters and killing two and injuring one. Biden, on the other hand, told the media on Wednesday, September 2, that protesting and free speech constitute a right but denounced violence and loot. He also blamed Trump for creating division and stoking violence to make political gains. Biden met Blake's family and spoke with the injured man over the phone but Trump didn't.

The poll also found that support for the response that NBA players and Black Lives Matter movement was more driven by the Democrats and Black Americans while a majority of GOP supporters were against them. At least 20% of the people had no opinion on these individuals’ or groups’ response to the shooting in Kenosha. The poll covered 1,008 adults and was conducted between August 28 and 31 with a three-percentage point margin of error for the overall sample.

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