Survey: 2 in 3 say maintaining law and order a major problem
Nearly 2 in 3 respondents in a poll released Monday called maintaining law and order in the U.S. a major problem.
A Monmouth University survey reported that 65 percent of participants consider the issue a serious problem, while about a quarter said maintaining law and order is a minor problem and only 8 percent said it’s not a problem at all.
Republicans and independents who lean Republican were most likely to classify it as a major problem, at 77 percent. Just 46 percent of white non-Republicans felt the same.
But a majority of Black non-Republicans — 60 percent — and non-Republicans of other races or ethnicities — 66 percent — called it a major problem.
“It appears we are looking at a divergence between politics and experience,” Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a release. “Among white Americans, partisanship creates a clear dividing line on whether law and order is a problem. But for people of color, partisan identity does not seem to be driving their opinion on this issue.”
President Trump has advocated for a tough law-and-order approach to the protests that broke out after the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., as well as the later shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
The president, acting against the wishes of local officials, sent federal law enforcement to quell protests in Portland, Ore., in July before later withdrawing them.
In the poll, neither candidate earned a strong lead in public trust on maintaining law and order. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received a narrow majority — 52 percent — when respondents were asked if they were very or somewhat confident he could keep law and order, while 48 percent said the same about Trump.
Sixty-one percent said Trump’s management of the protests has made the situation worse, while 24 percent said he made it better.
Forty-five percent of respondents said they believe Biden would have handled the protests better if he were president, while 28 percent said he would have done worse and 23 percent said he would have done the same as Trump.
The Monmouth University poll surveyed 867 adults in the U.S. from Sept. 3 to 8. The margin of error amounted to 3.3 percentage points.
Trump has used “law and order” as a rallying call for supporters, including at the Republican National Convention, saying he is the best candidate to enforce it and claiming chaos would ensue if Biden were elected president.
Biden has repeatedly criticized Trump’s approach, accusing the president last month of “rooting for more violence” with his rhetoric.