63 Percent of Rust Belt Voters Oppose Defunding Police, in Epoch Times Poll

September 19, 2020 Updated: September 24, 2020

Most Rust Belt voters oppose slashing funding to police departments, according to a new Big Data/Epoch Times poll.

Asked whether they support or oppose calls to “defund the police” in the community where they live, 63 percent of respondents said they oppose the calls.

Just over 24 percent said they support the calls, while the rest were undecided.

The poll follows a nationwide survey that found 61 percent of voters voicing opposition to efforts to cut police funding, versus 24 percent in support.

In the Rust Belt poll, a plurality of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they support defunding the police. Majorities in the other three age groups oppose cutting police funding.

A plurality Hispanics support defunding the police. A majority of white respondents, a plurality of black respondents, and a plurality of other races oppose the efforts.

Four out of five Republicans said they oppose defunding the police. They were joined by 62 percent of independents and 46.6 percent of Democrats.

Fifteen percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents, and 34.5 percent of Democrats support cutting police funding, according to the poll.

Epoch Times Photo
In this still image from video, a “Black Lives Matter” sign is seen in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 3, 2020. (The Epoch Times)

Defunding the police is a top goal of the Black Lives Matter movement. More poll respondents view that movement favorably, by a narrow margin.

Cities that have opted to slash funding to the police include Austin, which cut about a third of the budget, and Seattle, where lawmakers this month approved reducing police funding by nearly $4 million.

Other cities, including Omaha, Nebraska, and Fort Worth, Texas, have rejected efforts to defund the police.

Policing and crime figures to play a key role in the upcoming election.

Asked what’s most important to their vote, 8.5 percent of respondents chose that option, making it the fourth-most chosen, behind COVID-19, health care, and the economy and jobs.

Asked who they trust to do a better job of handling policing and crime, more respondents—45.5 percent versus 41 percent—chose Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.

Eight percent chose neither, while the rest were undecided.

More voters 44 or younger chose Biden, while older voters were essentially split.

The Epoch Times Rust Belt Poll was conducted by Big Data Poll from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, interviewing 2,191 registered voters and 1,440 likely voters in the Midwest via online panel targeting Iowa (7 percent), Michigan (20 percent), Minnesota (12 percent), Ohio (23 percent), Pennsylvania (26 percent), and Wisconsin (12 percent).

The sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percent for registered voters and plus or minus 2.6 percent for likely voters at a 95 percent confidence interval. For more information on the methodology and survey design, please refer to the AAPOR Transparency Initiative Checklist, for an overview of survey results click here.

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