The Reconnect Research/Roanoke College Poll on Race & Police
SALEM, Va., July 7, 2020
Nation generally positive toward local police; sees race relations as serious issue and supports protesters; large partisan and race differences
SALEM, Va., July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pluralities of residents of the United States are satisfied with the performance of their local police department (45%), according to a Reconnect Research/Roanoke College Poll which also looked at opinions on race relations, protests and the president. The poll interviewed 1,917 residents nationwide between June 18 and June 23.
More respondents report that they or a family member have been helped by police in a dangerous situation (40%) than have been harassed by police (27%). A majority (54%) of those responding think that police are as likely to use excessive force against Black or white people, while 43 percent think police are more likely to use excessive force against a Black person.
African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to report themselves or a family member being harassed by police and more than twice as likely to think that police are more likely to use excessive force against Blacks. They are less than half as likely as whites to be satisfied with their local police, yet their view of local police staffing is similar to that of whites.
Most residents (69%) agree that racial and ethnic discrimination in the United States is a problem, and 81 percent of those who do see it as a big problem. A majority (52%) believes that race relations are worse since Donald Trump became president, while only 18 percent think relations have improved.
Poll respondents were slightly more likely to disapprove (47%) of the job performance of Trump than to approve (44%), but, there were large differences between races (53% of whites approve of Trump; 24% of Blacks approve) and parties (80% of Republicans approve compared to only 19% of Democrats). Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to think the country is going in the right direction (59% vs. 18%), and the same is true for whites and Blacks (39% vs. 16%). Overall, more than half of those surveyed (60%) think the country is going in the wrong direction.
More details, including methodology, may be found at: https://www.roanoke.edu/about/news/reconnect_research_roanoke_college_poll.
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SOURCE Roanoke College