A poll by Ipsos and USA Today found that a mere 18% of respondents supported defunding the police, with 58% opposing it, according to a report in The Hill.
The poll, which surveyed 1,165 Americans, sought to determine public sentiment regarding the “defund the police” movement pushed by Black Lives Matter activists in the aftermath of several police killings of African Americans. In particular, it was the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor that sparked outrage and mass unrest across the country.
The results of the poll were strikingly bipartisan. They suggested that a majority of Democrat and Black respondents opposed the movement, with just 28% of Blacks and 34% of Democrats in support of the controversial campaign.
Mary Delucco, a Democrat from Portland, Oregon, who was surveyed, told USA Today, “I don’t like that concept, and I thought the minute it came out ‘defund’ was a horrible word. ‘Reallocate’ would be the correct word. Police are already defunded. … We’re already understaffed in Oregon for police issues. We had five shootings yesterday, and cops are having a hard time to get to those locations. They’re just not enough of them.”
Republican and white respondents were similarly unsupportive of the movement, but had higher opposition rates as well.
In terms of abolishing or eliminating the police completely, opposition was very high on both sides, with 67% of respondents being against it.
The poll also showed widespread ambivalence to redirecting police funds to social programs, but here the results were more split between political and racial ideology, with over 60% of both Democrats and blacks being supportive of the idea, and a majority opposing it on the other side of the aisle.
Steve Laskowitz, 73, of Boca Raton Florida, was among those surveyed by the poll, and was not in favor of defunding or eliminating the police. He explained, “I think it’s misguided. I don’t think anybody wants to defund the police. I think we might want to restructure how the police budget is spent, better training, better analysis of the people who become police and more efforts towards community involvement.”
The movement to defund the police has become a polarizing issue within the Democratic party, separating the “progressives” who are at the helm of the movement against the moderate party members, according to The Hill report.