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Two in Three Americans Support Racial Justice Protests
Politics

Two in Three Americans Support Racial Justice Protests

by Steven Long and Justin McCarthy
Two in Three Americans Support Racial Justice Protests

Story Highlights

  • Most say protests have changed their views on racial justice
  • Half report feeling connected to the protests' cause
  • More than one in four young adults have participated in a protest

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About two in three Americans (65%) support the nationwide protests about racial injustice that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May. Half say they feel "very" (23%) or "somewhat connected" (27%) to the protests' cause. Black Americans, young adults and Democrats are among the most likely groups to support and feel connected to the protests.

Americans' Reactions to Protests After George Floyd's Death
Do you support or oppose the recent protests that have taken place around the country following the death of George Floyd? To what extent do you feel connected to the cause of those protesting?
Support protests Feel connected to protests
% Support % Feel very/somewhat connected
U.S. adults 65 50
Black adults 92 84
Asian adults 89 73
White adults 59 43
Hispanic adults 70 55
18 to 29 87 72
30 to 49 72 57
50 to 64 53 39
65+ 54 39
Democrats 95 78
Independents 69 50
Republicans 22 14
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

The latest results are based on a June 23-July 6 survey conducted by web using the Gallup Panel, a probability-based panel of U.S. adults, in English. Learn more about the findings from this survey and others at the Gallup Center on Black Voices.

Majorities of most subgroups support the protests, with Republicans (22%) a key exception. Republicans are also least likely to report feeling connected to the protests, with 14% saying they feel very or somewhat connected to the cause.

While small majorities of White Americans and adults aged 50 and older support the protests, fewer in these groups report feeling connected to them.

Most Say the Protests Have Changed Their Views on Racial Justice

U.S. adults are mixed in their reports of how the demonstrations have affected their views on racial justice and equality. A slim majority say the protests have changed their views on racial justice "a lot" (21%) or "a little" (33%), while nearly half (47%) say the protests haven't changed their views "at all."

The groups most likely to report being influenced include Asian Americans (74% a lot/a little), adults under the age of 30 (66%) and Democrats (66%).

While most Republicans say their views haven't changed as a result of the protests, about one in three (36%) say they have.

Americans' Reports of How Protests Have Changed Their Views on Racial Justice
How much, if at all, have the recent protests, marches and demonstrations changed your views on racial justice and equality?
A lot A little Not at all
% % %
U.S. adults 21 33 47
Black adults 31 22 47
Asian adults 26 48 26
Hispanic adults 24 29 47
White adults 18 35 47
18 to 29 22 44 33
30 to 49 20 34 46
50 to 64 19 26 55
65+ 21 30 49
Democrats 26 40 34
Independents 20 35 45
Republicans 14 22 64
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

More Than One in Four Young Adults Report Participating in a Protest

While most Americans support the racial injustice protests, 11% report they have actively participated in them. Young adults (26%) are the group most likely to say they participated, while about one in five self-identified Democrats (20%), Asian Americans (20%) and Black Americans (18%) have done so.

Relatively few adults aged 50 and older report having attended protests, possibly reflecting these groups' lower levels of support for the cause, but also likely having to do with their higher risk of getting COVID-19, as these events coincided with a pandemic.

Reported participation in protests is lowest among Republicans (1%).

Participation in Racial Justice Protests, by Subgroup
In the past 30 days, have you participated in a protest about racial justice and equality?
Yes No
% %
U.S. adults 11 89
Black adults 18 82
Asian adults 20 80
Hispanic adults 13 87
White adults 10 90
18 to 29 26 74
30 to 49 13 87
50 to 64 7 93
65+ 3 97
Democrats 20 80
Independents 9 91
Republicans 1 99
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

Most Americans Say Protests Will Help Public Support for Racial Equality

Americans are more likely to say the protests "will help" (53%) rather than "hurt" (34%) public support for racial justice and equality, while 13% say they will "make no difference."

While Black Americans are among the most likely to support and feel connected to the protests, they are also the most likely to say the protests will make no difference (21%). This may reflect the fact that many Black adults experience mistreatment so regularly -- even after past protests against racism that have occurred throughout U.S. history.

Most groups lean toward saying the protests will help public support for racial justice, though views on their effect are mixed among older adults. Meanwhile, a solid majority of Republicans (74%) say the protests hurt the cause.

The most optimistic groups for the demonstrations' effect on public opinion include Democrats, Asian Americans and young adults.

Views on the Protests' Effect on Public Support for Racial Justice, by Subgroup
Overall, do you think the recent protests, marches and demonstrations will help, hurt or make no difference to public support for racial justice and equality?
Help Hurt Make no
difference
% % %
U.S. adults 53 34 13
White adults 49 39 11
Black adults 70 9 21
Asian adults 83 9 7
Hispanic adults 56 31 13
18 to 29 78 14 8
30 to 49 58 29 13
50 to 64 40 46 14
65+ 42 43 14
Democrats 84 4 12
Independents 53 33 14
Republicans 13 74 13
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

Bottom Line

Despite the health pandemic that has kept many Americans at home, roughly one in 10 say they participated in the protests that followed Floyd's death in late May. Even greater numbers personally supported the demonstrations and report having reconsidered their previous ideas about racial justice and equality.

The vast majority of Black Americans feel connected to the protests' cause, but still, a sizable one in five do not believe these events will result in any meaningful change.

Time will tell what the larger outcomes of the protests will actually be, but Americans are more likely to say they will be helpful than harmful to racial equality. Young adults -- the biggest participators in and supporters of the protests -- will live long enough to see what the long-term legacy of the movement will ultimately be.

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.

Stay up to date with the trends, historical findings and new data from the Center.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/316106/two-three-americans-support-racial-justice-protests.aspx
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