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Poll: Majority 'sympathetic' to protesters, disapprove of Trump's response

A majority of Americans both sympathize with the protests that have swept the U.S. since the death of George Floyd and give low marks to President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE’s handling of the demonstrations, a Reuters-Ipsos poll has found.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said they were sympathetic to the protests that have erupted across the nation, while 27 percent said they were not and 9 percent said they were unsure, according to the poll.

More than 55 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of the president’s response to the protests, including 40 percent who said they strongly disapproved. The percentage who approved, about 33 percent, was lower than the number of those who approved of the job Trump is doing in general.

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Twice as many independents disapproved of the president’s response, and while 67 percent of Republicans approved of his response, the figure was about 15 points behind their overall approval of him.

A majority of both self-identified Republicans and Democrats said they approved of the protests but felt property damage and looting undermined the cause, with under a quarter believing the looting was justified.

Although the bulk of the demonstrations have taken place in cities, majorities in rural and suburban areas also expressed sympathy for the protests, with a little more than half of the respondents from rural areas sympathizing and 70 percent of those in suburban areas saying the same.

Respondents said they approve of the police response more than they approve of Trump’s response, but a plurality still disapproved.

Forty-seven percent of respondents disagreed that the police were doing a good job, compared to 43 percent who agreed. A majority of Republicans agreed with the police response while a majority of Democrats disagreed.

A parallel Reuters-Ipsos poll found presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE leading Trump by 10 points among registered voters, the widest margin since Biden essentially clinched the nomination in early April.

Reuters polled 1,004 American adults online for the poll. It has a 4-point credibility interval. The polling on the 2020 election polled 1,113 American adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.