Majority disapprove of Trump’s handling of Black Lives Matter protests

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
July 01, 2020, 4:49 PM UTC

Americans continue to disapprove of President Donald Trump's response to nationwide protests about police treatment of Black Americans. 

The protests originated to demand accountability for the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. In the weeks that followed, Black Lives Matter activists began protesting other cases of police brutality against Black Americans.  

Trump’s reactions -- which include tweeting “ ... when looting starts, the shooting starts” ; labeling the protestors as “thugs” and “terrorists”; and signing an executive order that encouraged police departments to "meet the most current professional standards of force,” --  have garnered general disapproval. 

For the third week, Americans have expressed more disapproval than approval of how President Trump is responding to the protests.  

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found that 77 percent of Democrats strongly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests, compared to 34 percent of Independents, and 4 percent of Republicans. This number remains largely unchanged from the week prior, when the Economist/YouGov survey asked the same question. 

Approval ratings of Trump’s response to the recent protests vary by race. Two in five (40%) white Americans approve of his handling of protests, compared to 25 percent of Black Americans. Two-thirds of Black Americans disapprove (66%) of Trump’s handling of the protests. These numbers remain relatively unchanged from the previous week. 

Men (20%) are more likely than women (14%) to strongly approve of Trump’s response. College graduates (48%) are more likely than those without a college education (31%) to strongly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests against police brutality.  

Trump supporters are particularly likely to approve of how he’s handling the protests. Nearly half (45%) of those who choose Trump in a trial heat against Biden strongly approve of his responses, compared to 1 percent of those who say they will vote for Biden in 2020. A majority of Biden supporters (83%) strongly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests, compared to 2 percent of Trump 2020 voters.  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll  

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between June 28 - 30, 2020.  

This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.4% for the overall sample.   

In this week’s survey, US citizens were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump’s handling of protests against the deaths of African Americans during encounters with police?” Response options:  strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove. In the previous survey, US citizens were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump’s handling of the protests against the death of George Floyd?” Response options:  strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove. 

Image: Getty