62ºF

Poll: Michigan voters support Black Lives Matter movement, oppose ‘defund the police’

Voters do support shifting funds from police

Local artists collaborate on painting a Black Lives Matter street mural in front of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, in St. Petersburg on Thursday, June 18, 2020.  The mural will be ready when the city of St Pete kicks of its Juneteenth celebrations on Friday morning. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Local artists collaborate on painting a Black Lives Matter street mural in front of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, in St. Petersburg on Thursday, June 18, 2020. The mural will be ready when the city of St Pete kicks of its Juneteenth celebrations on Friday morning. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP) (Tampa Bay Times)

Michigan voters support the Black Lives Matter movement, but are skeptical of the call to “defund the police,” according to a new WDIV/Detroit News poll.

According to the poll, about 58 percent of Michigan voters support the Black Lives Matter movement, with 42 percent strongly supporting it. 26 percent strongly oppose the movement.

There are sharp differences in support by political party affiliation.

Party AffiliationSupportOppose
Strong Democratic92.7%5.0%
Lean Democratic83.4%7.1%
Independent49.5%32.1%
Lean Republican30.2%58.5%
Strong Republican19.3%70.2%

About 94 percent of Black voters support the Black Live Matter movement, while 50.6 percent of white voters support it, according to the WDIV/Detroit News poll.

‘Defund the police’ lacks support, but voters open to shifting funds

Michigan voters sharply oppose a move to “defund the police.” Only 17.9 percent of voters support efforts to defund the police while 75.3 percent oppose the efforts.

  • Strong Democratic voters oppose the effort by a margin of 52.5%-33.6%.
  • Black voters oppose the effort by a margin of 51.2%-30.2%. White voters oppose the effort by a margin of 81.2%-14.3%.

Despite the opposition, Michigan voters support efforts to shift some funding for police to other areas that might fight crime. 56.8 percent of voters support it. 86 percent of Black voters support the shifting of funds.

56 percent of Independent voters support shifting money, while 30.1 percent strongly oppose the idea.

The interesting note here is that “defund the police” is essentially the same thing as shifting money away from police departments for other needs.

Defunding the police means what it says: Divesting funds from police departments and then reallocating them to social services and other community resources where they are needed. Generally the idea is to reinvest funds into marginalized communities that have been heavily divested from to provide services that can help those community members thrive rather than be criminalized. It does not mean eliminating the police.

METHODOLOGY

The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a Michigan statewide survey of November 2020 likely general election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on September 1-3, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 50.0% of respondents were contacted via landline telephone. 50.0% of respondents were contacted via cell phone telephone. This survey was commissioned by WDIV Local 4 News and the Detroit News.


About the Author: