Just 18 Percent of Americans Support Defunding the Police, Poll Finds

March 9, 2021 Updated: April 9, 2021

Only 18 percent of Americans support slashing funding to the police, according to a new poll.

Another 58 percent of respondents said they oppose the “defund the police” movement, which is often synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Ipsos/USA Today survey.

Just 28 percent of black respondents and 34 percent of respondents who identify as Democrats support the movement to cut police funding. In opposition to defunding the police are 67 percent of white respondents and 84 percent of Republican ones.

“Don’t defund the police department. We need them here to keep law and order,” Kevin Hayworth, 66, of Garner, Iowa, told USA Today. “We need our police department just as they are.”

“‘Reallocate’ would be the correct word,” Mary Delucco, no age given, of Portland, Oregon, added. “Police are already defunded. … We’re already understaffed in Oregon for police issues. We had five shootings yesterday, and cops are having a hard time to get to those locations. They’re just not enough of them.”

Queried on whether the police should be done away with entirely—the stated goal of some far-left activists, including many with the anarcho-communist Antifa network—67 percent of respondents answered in the negative.

Framing the defunding idea in a different way brought about more support. Asked whether funding for police should be redirected to social services, 43 percent said yes, while 57 percent said no. Over eight out of 10 Republicans didn’t want any cuts to police, while two-thirds of Democrat respondents support cutting police budgets.

The poll was conducted online among 1,165 Americans. Ipsos, declining to give a margin of error, said the “credibility interval” was plus/minus 3.3 percentage points.

The poll was promoted by Republicans, who linked it to 219 House Democrats voting last week for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.

Epoch Times Photo
A protester is holding a ‘defund the police’ sign at a Black Lives Matter protest in Manhattan, New York City, on July 13, 2020. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

“As long as House Democrats keep trying to defund the police, they’ll keep losing elections,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said in a statement.

Democrats said on the House floor before the vote that the legislation didn’t cut police funding.

“This is not defund the police. This is reform the police and save human lives,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said.

Still, some Democrats, including Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) have openly called for defunding the police.

“It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police,” Bush wrote on Twitter late last year.

In an Epoch Times/Big Data poll conducted in 2020 before the election, most Rust Belt voters said they opposed cutting funding to the police.

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.

Correction: The percent of white and Republican respondents in opposition to defunding the police has been updated. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

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