You wouldn't know it from following most of the mainstream media but buried deep amidst recent news reports is a story of a poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs with the headline: "Racial Justice Protests Losing Support."
The story details a startling turnaround in public attitudes toward the protest from June of this year till now. In the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the protests enjoyed significant support. But, over time, the protests have lost ground, even among Black Americans. The AP calls the turnaround "sweeping."
Consider the poll results:
- 44% of all Americans now disapprove of protests in response to police violence against Black Americans, while 39% approve. In June, 54% approved.
- Just 35% of white Americans approve of the protests now, while 50% disapprove. In June, 53% approved, while 34% disapproved. That's nearly a complete reversal of the numbers.
- Among Latinos, 31% now approve, compared with 44% in June.
- 63% of Black Americans now support the protests, down from 81%, with more now saying they neither approve nor disapprove.
- Views of the protests now differ dramatically by party identification with 70% of Democrats approving and 75% of Republicans disapproving. But if you look at the overall approval and disapproval numbers (first bullet point above) you can see that they are trending closer to the view of the Republicans, with more disapproving than approving. And this poll was before the latest round of protests in Louisville and elsewhere.
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