Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Removing Confederate Statues, Defunding Police

Workers remove a statue of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Robert E. Lee Park in Dallas, Texas, on September 14, 2017. - Confederate monuments of Civil War figures, who fought against the Union Army in an attempt to preserve slavery, have become central to the debate …
LAURA BUCKMAN/Laura Buckman/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

A Washington Post/ABC poll shows a majority of Americans oppose removing statues of Confederate soldiers or U.S. presidents who had slaves.

The Washington Post reported on its poll, which highlighted a stark partisan divide:

The new poll finds that 52 percent of Americans oppose removing public statues honoring Confederate generals, while 43 percent support their removal. That includes an 80 percent majority of Republicans and 56 percent of independents in opposition, while 74 percent of Democrats support the removal of these statutes.

Almost 6 in 10 white people, along with just over half of Hispanic people, oppose removing statues of Confederate soldiers, while over three-quarters of black people support their removal.

The Black Lives Matter movement continues to enjoy majority support, with 63 percent of Americans saying they support it, including 46 percent who say they “strongly” support it. But there are sharp differences among partisans, with 92 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents saying they back the movement, while 68 percent of Republicans oppose it.

The poll found that a 69 percent majority of respondents believe minority groups are not treated the same as white people but “generally opposes calls to shift some police funding to social services.”

The sentiment comes in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police in May, and the protests that followed nationwide.

The Post’s report blamed President Donald Trump for “fanning opposition to Black Lives Matter protesters and their desired changes.”

“On the issue of police funding, for example, 55 percent of Americans oppose moving funds from police departments to social services — and 43 percent say they oppose it ‘strongly,’” the Post reported. “Republicans are the most opposed, with 84 percent saying they’re against such a shift. Among independents, 53 percent are opposed, while 59 percent of Democrats support such shifts.”

The poll was conducted July 12-15 of a random national sample of 1,006 adults, with 75 percent of interviews conducted by cellphone and 25 percent by landline. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; the error margin is 4.5 points in a sample of 661 white adults and 10.5 points each among the samples of 113 black and 117 Hispanic adults.

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