Summary

This report summarizes public reaction in Wisconsin to the death of George Floyd in police custody in May and to the mass protests that followed. The report is based on Marquette Law School Poll data collected in June and August 2020, with some questions also asked in earlier surveys. The shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha WI in August, and subsequent protests and disturbances occurred after the August poll was completed.

In the tables by race Black or Hispanic respondents are combined in order to have sufficient cases to present reliable percentage results. While Black and Hispanic views are not always identical, the percentages are fairly close in these data so that combining the categories does not distort the substantive results. The margin of error for the combined Black or Hispanic group is +/- 13.1 percentage points in June and +/- 14 percentage points in August. For white respondents the margin of error is +/- 4.7 percentage points in June and +/- 4.2 percentage points in August.

Approval of protests
In June approval of protests was widespread, with 61 percent approving of the protests and 36 percent disapproving. Approval declined in August with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.

Approval remained strong among Black or Hispanic respondents and in the City of Milwaukee, but declined among white respondents and in the four media-market regions of the state outside the city of Milwaukee. Approval also declined in each of five urban-suburban categories including cities, suburbs, exurbs, small towns and rural areas. In August more respondents approved than disapproved in cities. Suburban areas, which were substantially net positive in June, became net negative on approval in August, though not as negative as exurban, small towns or rural areas. Net approval also declined across all three categories of party identification, with the largest declines among Republicans.

Favorable and unfavorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement
Overall more Wisconsin respondents have a favorable rather than unfavorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement. In June 59 percent were favorable and 27 percent were unfavorable. In August favorable views declined though a plurality held favorable views, 49 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable.

Black or Hispanic respondents maintained a strongly favorable view while white respondents views became much less favorable, with 47 percent favorable and 40 percent unfavorable in August. Net favorability declined in all media markets of the state except for the city of Milwaukee. Net favorability slightly increased in principal cities, but declined in suburbs, exurbs, small towns and rural areas. Favorability declined in all partisan groups, though substantially with Republicans and modestly with Democrats.

Protests seen as mostly peaceful or mostly violent
In August, the only time asked, a plurality of 48 percent said the protests had been mostly peaceful while 41 percent said they had been mostly violent.

There were substantial differences in perception between Black or Hispanic respondents, 65 percent of whom said “mostly peaceful” and white respondents, 47 who said the same. Twenty-one percent of Black or Hispanic respondents said “mostly violent” while 42 percent of white respondents said “mostly violent.” While the balance of opinion varies, only in the north and western part of the state (“rest of the state”) did more say “mostly violent” than “mostly peaceful”. Those living in cities or suburbs on balance saw the protests as peaceful (barely so in the suburbs) while those in exurbs, small towns and rural areas more saw the protests as mostly violent. Partisans are sharply split in perceptions of the protests with Republicans much more likely to see violent protests, independents seeing more peaceful protests and Democrats much more likely to perceive the protests as peaceful.

Favorable or unfavorable views of the police
Wisconsin respondents are extremely favorable toward the police, including 44 percent of Black or Hispanic respondents and 78 percent of white respondents in the June and August data combined.

There was a small increase in favorable views of the police between June and August, with increases across almost all groups and geographies. Small declines in the north and west and in exurbs occurred in groups with very high favorability in both months.

Feeling safe or anxious about the police
In August 2016 and in June 2020 we asked if the police made respondents feel mostly safe or mostly anxious. There was very little change in this measure over the four years. Racial differences are substantial in both years, with 57 percent of Black or Hispanic respondents saying mostly safe and 36 percent saying mostly anxious. Among white respondents 90 percent said mostly safe and 36 percent said mostly anxious.

Police use of deadly force
Asked if the police are too willing to use deadly force, asked in June only, 42 percent said yes while 51 percent said no. Racial differences are large on this question, with 70 percent of Black or Hispanic respondents saying yes while 38 percent of white respondents said the same. In the city of Milwaukee and in the Madison media market more say the police are too willing to use deadly force while majorities in all other regions say they are not. Only in principal cities does a small plurality say police are too willing. Partisan differences are quite strong.

Are police killings of Black Americans isolated incidents or a larger pattern?
In Wisconsin a small plurality, 48 percent, say police killings of Black Americans are part of a larger pattern of behavior, while 44 percent say they are isolated incidents. (This contrasts with a national Washington Post poll in June that found 29 percent saying isolated incident and 69 percent broader problem. A June ABC-Ipsos national poll found 26 percent saying isolated incident and 74 percent saying a broader problem.)

In the Wisconsin poll the racial difference in perception is especially stark with 79 percent of Black or Hispanic respondents saying “larger problem” and 17 percent saying “isolated incident”. Among white respondents 47 percent said “isolated incident” and 44 percent said it is a “larger problem”.

Residents of the city of Milwaukee and the Madison media market are substantially more likely to see a larger problem while opinion is closely divided elsewhere. Those living in exurbs and rural areas are substantially more likely to say these are isolated incidents with the reverse in principal cities. Suburbs and small towns are more evenly divided. Partisan differences are especially large on this item.

Defunding the police
Large majorities oppose calls to defund the police. In June a bare majority (51 percent) of Black or Hispanic respondents supported defunding but this reversed in August with a larger majority opposed. In no region of the state does a majority support defunding and no partisan group has majority support.

Reform police and increase accountability
Unlike defunding, there is overwhelming support to “restructure the role of the police and require greater accountability for police misconduct.” Eighty-one percent support restructuring, with 16 percent opposed. These large majorities hold across racial, geographic and political divides, including support by two-thirds of Republicans.

How serious a problem is prejudice against Black people
In January 2020 and again in June we asked “How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today?” There is considerable variation in the net opinion comparing “very serious” with those saying “not so serious” or “not a problem at all.” Across all groups the net opinion increased between January and June, with more saying “very serious” and fewer saying “not so serious” or “not a problem.”

Racial differences were substantial in June with a net 68 percent among Black or Hispanic respondents and a net 16 percent among white respondents. All regions of the state were net positive in June, though Green Bay and the rest of the state had been net negative in January. In June, only rural areas were net negative. Republicans were net negative in both January and June, though by half the margin in June (-22 points) as in January (-44 points). Independents were net positive in both months and Democrats very substantially net positive in both months.

Approval of Donald Trump’s response to protests
Evaluation of Trump’s response to the protests is strongly negative across almost all demographic and regional groups. This is his weakest showing, lower than his handing of coronavirus, overall job and of handling the economy. His net approval is very negative among Black or Hispanic respondents but also net negative (-25 points) among white respondents. He is net negative in each of the media markets in the state, and net positive only in isolated rural areas. Republicans are strongly net postie (+44) but independents are net negative at -33 points and Democrats at net -92 in August polling.

Detailed tables

Views of the protests over police killings

We asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the mass protests that have been held since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis?”

Approval of Black Lives Matter protests, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 25 61 36 2
8/4-9/20 0 48 48 3
Approval of Black Lives Matter protests by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White 22 59 38 2
8/4-9/20 White -5 45 51 3
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 58 77 19 2
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic 58 78 20 1
Approval of Black Lives Matter protests by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City 58 78 20 2
8/4-9/20 MKE City 63 80 17 3
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 21 58 37 3
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE -4 47 51 2
6/14-18/20 MSN 35 66 31 3
8/4-9/20 MSN 7 50 43 5
6/14-18/20 GB/A 19 58 40 1
8/4-9/20 GB/A -3 46 49 5
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 14 55 41 1
8/4-9/20 Rest of state -20 38 58 3
Approval of Black Lives Matter protests by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city 42 70 28 2
8/4-9/20 Principal city 33 64 31 5
6/14-18/20 Suburban core 25 61 37 1
8/4-9/20 Suburban core -8 45 53 2
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 6 50 44 3
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns -13 43 55 2
6/14-18/20 Small town 26 63 37 0
8/4-9/20 Small town -22 37 60 2
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural 10 55 45 1
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural -28 35 63 2
Approval of Black Lives Matter protests by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican -25 37 61 2
8/4-9/20 Republican -61 18 80 2
6/14-18/20 Independent 30 63 33 3
8/4-9/20 Independent 1 48 47 4
6/14-18/20 Democrat 71 85 14 1
8/4-9/20 Democrat 59 77 18 4

Favorable or unfavorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement

We asked: “I’m going to read you a list of people and groups. Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each of them or if you haven’t heard enough about them yet to have an opinion. …The Black Lives Matter movement”

Favorable or unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter movement, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 32 59 27 6 5
8/4-9/20 12 49 37 10 5
Favorable or unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter movement by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White 28 57 29 7 5
8/4-9/20 White 7 47 40 10 4
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 69 77 8 10 3
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic 66 73 7 11 9
Favorable or unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter movement by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City 55 74 18 7 1
8/4-9/20 MKE City 55 71 15 9 4
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 26 55 29 8 4
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE 7 47 40 9 4
6/14-18/20 MSN 42 64 22 4 6
8/4-9/20 MSN 24 52 28 15 4
6/14-18/20 GB/A 30 56 26 6 8
8/4-9/20 GB/A 7 46 38 10 6
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 25 55 30 7 5
8/4-9/20 Rest of state -1 44 45 7 5
Favorable or unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter movement by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city 39 64 25 5 4
8/4-9/20 Principal city 41 61 20 12 6
6/14-18/20 Suburban core 36 60 24 9 5
8/4-9/20 Suburban core 8 48 40 7 4
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 28 59 31 5 2
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns -1 42 42 13 3
6/14-18/20 Small town 32 64 32 1 3
8/4-9/20 Small town 2 48 46 3 3
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural -4 36 41 7 3
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural -15 36 51 10 3
Favorable or unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter movement by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican -16 32 49 10 6
8/4-9/20 Republican -56 15 71 10 4
6/14-18/20 Independent 32 58 26 7 7
8/4-9/20 Independent 15 50 35 8 7
6/14-18/20 Democrat 86 91 4 3 1
8/4-9/20 Democrat 79 82 3 10 4

Have protests been mostly peaceful or mostly violent

In August, but not in June, we asked “Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent?”

Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent?, August 2020
Poll dates Net Mostly peaceful Mostly violent Some of both Don’t know
8/4-9/20 7 48 41 8 2
Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent? by race, August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Mostly peaceful Mostly violent Some of both Don’t know
8/4-9/20 White 5 47 42 8 3
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic 44 65 21 14 1
Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent? by region, August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Mostly peaceful Mostly violent Some of both Don’t know
8/4-9/20 MKE City 37 62 25 10 3
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE 5 46 41 10 2
8/4-9/20 MSN 15 53 38 7 2
8/4-9/20 GB/A 14 53 40 5 2
8/4-9/20 Rest of state -11 40 50 7 3
Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent? by urban-rural, August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Mostly peaceful Mostly violent Some of both Don’t know
8/4-9/20 Principal city 37 62 26 10 2
8/4-9/20 Suburban core 5 49 44 6 1
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns -11 37 48 9 4
8/4-9/20 Small town -11 40 52 8 0
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural -30 29 59 7 2
Do you think the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent? August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Mostly peaceful Mostly violent Some of both Don’t know
8/4-9/20 Republican -49 19 68 11 2
8/4-9/20 Independent 12 51 38 8 3
8/4-9/20 Democrat 59 76 17 5 2

Favorable or unfavorable views of the police

We asked: “I’m going to read you a list of people and groups. Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each of them or if you haven’t heard enough about them yet to have an opinion. …The police”

Favorable or unfavorable view of the police, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 54 72 18 3 5
8/4-9/20 63 76 13 5 6
Favorable or unfavorable view of the police by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White 61 76 15 4 5
8/4-9/20 White 70 81 10 3 5
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 0 44 44 3 9
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic 15 45 30 18 7
Favorable or unfavorable view of the police by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City 21 54 33 4 7
8/4-9/20 MKE City 22 51 29 11 9
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 61 77 16 3 4
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE 73 81 8 5 5
6/14-18/20 MSN 44 64 19 5 10
8/4-9/20 MSN 61 73 13 7 5
6/14-18/20 GB/A 55 73 18 3 4
8/4-9/20 GB/A 76 83 7 4 6
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 63 79 16 2 2
8/4-9/20 Rest of state 56 74 18 1 6
Favorable or unfavorable view of the police by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city 37 64 27 3 5
8/4-9/20 Principal city 42 62 20 8 8
6/14-18/20 Suburban core 52 70 18 4 7
8/4-9/20 Suburban core 75 84 10 5 2
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 71 81 10 3 3
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns 68 79 11 2 6
6/14-18/20 Small town 72 83 11 1 0
8/4-9/20 Small town 82 87 5 0 7
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural 63 76 13 5 5
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural 78 87 8 0 5
Favorable or unfavorable view of the police by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican 84 91 6 1 1
8/4-9/20 Republican 89 93 4 2 2
6/14-18/20 Independent 53 71 18 2 6
8/4-9/20 Independent 60 74 14 5 6
6/14-18/20 Democrat 20 53 33 7 6
8/4-9/20 Democrat 40 61 21 7 9

Do the police make you feel safe or anxious?

In June 2020 we asked “How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?” This question was also asked in August 2016, which is shown for comparison.

How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious? , August 2016 and June 2020
Poll dates Net Mostly safe Mostly anxious Something else Don’t know
8/25-28/16 75 86 12 0 1
6/14-18/20 75 86 11 2 1
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious? by race, August 2016 and June 2020
Poll dates Race Net Mostly safe Mostly anxious Something else Don’t know
8/25-28/16 White 82 90 9 0 1
6/14-18/20 White 82 90 8 1 1
8/25-28/16 Black or Hispanic 20 57 37 1 6
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 22 57 36 5 2
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious? by region, August 2016 and June 2020
Poll dates Region Net Mostly safe Mostly anxious Something else Don’t know
8/25-28/16 MKE City 36 66 29 1 4
6/14-18/20 MKE City 30 57 28 11 2
8/25-28/16 Rest of MKE 76 87 11 1 1
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 80 89 9 2 0
8/25-28/16 MSN 81 90 9 0 1
6/14-18/20 MSN 78 87 10 1 1
8/25-28/16 GB/A 75 87 12 0 1
6/14-18/20 GB/A 73 86 13 0 1
8/25-28/16 Rest of state 84 91 7 0 2
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 83 91 9 0 0
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious? by urban-rural, August 2016 and June 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Mostly safe Mostly anxious Something else Don’t know
8/25-28/16 Principal city 55 76 21 1 2
6/14-18/20 Principal city 61 79 17 2 1
8/25-28/16 Suburban core 82 91 9 0 0
6/14-18/20 Suburban core 78 89 10 1 0
8/25-28/16 Exurbs and large towns 90 94 4 0 1
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 87 93 6 0 2
8/25-28/16 Small town 84 91 7 0 2
6/14-18/20 Small town 79 87 8 3 0
8/25-28/16 Isolated rural 86 93 7 0 0
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural 84 91 7 2 0
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious? August 2016 and June 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Mostly safe Mostly anxious Something else Don’t know
8/25-28/16 Republican 91 95 4 0 0
6/14-18/20 Republican 91 95 4 1 0
8/25-28/16 Independent 70 84 14 0 2
6/14-18/20 Independent 74 86 12 1 1
8/25-28/16 Democrat 67 83 16 0 1
6/14-18/20 Democrat 58 77 19 3 1

Police use of deadly force

In June, but not in August, we asked “Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force?”

Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force, June 2020
Poll dates Net Yes No Don’t know
6/14-18/20 -9 42 51 6
Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force by race, June 2020
Poll dates Race Net Yes No Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White -15 38 54 7
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 43 70 27 3
Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force by region, June 2020
Poll dates Region Net Yes No Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City 23 58 35 7
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE -15 39 54 4
6/14-18/20 MSN 7 50 43 6
6/14-18/20 GB/A -13 40 53 6
6/14-18/20 Rest of state -22 35 57 8
Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force by urban-rural, June 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Yes No Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city 4 49 45 6
6/14-18/20 Suburban core -6 44 50 4
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns -12 40 52 7
6/14-18/20 Small town -9 41 50 9
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural -32 28 60 12
Are the police in general too willing to use deadly force June 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Yes No Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican -54 20 74 5
6/14-18/20 Independent -9 41 51 7
6/14-18/20 Democrat 41 67 26 6

Are police killings of Black Americans isolated incidents or a larger pattern?

In June, but not in August, we asked “Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans?”

Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans? , June 2020
Poll dates Net Isolated incidents Part of a larger pattern Don’t know
6/14-18/20 -4 44 48 8
Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans? by race, June 2020
Poll dates Race Net Isolated incidents Part of a larger pattern Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White 2 47 44 8
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic -63 17 79 4
Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans? by region, June 2020
Poll dates Region Net Isolated incidents Part of a larger pattern Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City -49 25 73 2
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 7 50 43 6
6/14-18/20 MSN -22 33 56 9
6/14-18/20 GB/A -2 44 46 9
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 9 50 41 9
Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans? by urban-rural, June 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Isolated incidents Part of a larger pattern Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city -21 35 57 8
6/14-18/20 Suburban core -5 45 50 5
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 19 56 37 6
6/14-18/20 Small town -7 44 50 6
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural 20 49 29 16
Do you think recent killings of Black Americans by police are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern in the police’s treatment of Black Americans? June 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Isolated incidents Part of a larger pattern Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican 55 73 18 8
6/14-18/20 Independent -7 42 49 8
6/14-18/20 Democrat -66 14 80 6

Support or oppose defunding the police

This item was asked with different wording in June and in August. In June we asked “Do you support or oppose calls to ‘defund the police?’”. In August, as part of a series of 12 issues, we asked “We’d like to know whether you agree or disagree with each of the following policies: defund the police.”

Suport or oppose defunding the police, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Support defunding Oppose defunding Don’t know
6/14-18/20 -47 23 70 7
8/4-9/20 -61 17 78 5
Suport or oppose defunding the police by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Support defunding Oppose defunding Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White -54 20 73 7
8/4-9/20 White -66 15 81 4
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 12 51 38 9
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic -25 34 59 6
Suport or oppose defunding the police by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Support defunding Oppose defunding Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City -21 35 55 9
8/4-9/20 MKE City -29 32 61 6
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE -53 21 74 5
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE -72 11 83 5
6/14-18/20 MSN -34 29 63 7
8/4-9/20 MSN -56 18 74 7
6/14-18/20 GB/A -53 19 71 9
8/4-9/20 GB/A -56 21 77 2
6/14-18/20 Rest of state -55 18 73 7
8/4-9/20 Rest of state -64 16 80 3
Suport or oppose defunding the police by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Support defunding Oppose defunding Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city -42 25 66 8
8/4-9/20 Principal city -38 27 65 8
6/14-18/20 Suburban core -40 27 67 7
8/4-9/20 Suburban core -70 13 83 3
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns -49 22 71 5
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns -73 11 85 4
6/14-18/20 Small town -63 12 74 14
8/4-9/20 Small town -76 11 87 1
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural -74 10 85 5
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural -76 11 87 1
Suport or oppose defunding the police by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Support defunding Oppose defunding Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican -80 8 88 3
8/4-9/20 Republican -87 6 93 1
6/14-18/20 Independent -50 19 70 10
8/4-9/20 Independent -62 16 78 5
6/14-18/20 Democrat -7 42 49 8
8/4-9/20 Democrat -34 29 62 7

Support or oppose restructuring police

In June only we asked “Do you support or oppose calls to restructure the role of the police and require greater accountability for police misconduct?”

Suport or oppose restructuring the police, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Support Oppose Don’t know
6/14-18/20 65 81 16 3
Suport or oppose restructuring the police by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Race Support Oppose Don’t know
6/14-18/20 63 White 80 17 2
6/14-18/20 84 Black or Hispanic 90 6 2
Suport or oppose restructuring the police by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Region Support Oppose Don’t know
6/14-18/20 75 MKE City 86 10 4
6/14-18/20 61 Rest of MKE 79 18 2
6/14-18/20 69 MSN 82 13 4
6/14-18/20 73 GB/A 85 12 2
6/14-18/20 56 Rest of state 77 21 2
Suport or oppose restructuring the police by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Type of place Support Oppose Don’t know
6/14-18/20 68 Principal city 82 14 3
6/14-18/20 68 Suburban core 83 15 2
6/14-18/20 57 Exurbs and large towns 77 20 2
6/14-18/20 53 Small town 76 23 2
6/14-18/20 62 Isolated rural 78 15 7
Suport or oppose restructuring the police by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Party ID Support Oppose Don’t know
6/14-18/20 37 Republican 67 30 2
6/14-18/20 71 Independent 83 13 3
6/14-18/20 87 Democrat 92 5 3

Perception of prejudice as a serious problem

In January and June 2020 only we asked “How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today: a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not so serious problem, or not a problem at all?”

How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today:, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net very vs not so/not at all Very serious Somewhat serious Not so serious Not a problem at all Don’t know
1/8-12/20 7 34 38 17 9 2
6/14-18/20 21 41 37 14 5 2
How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today: by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net very vs not so/not at all Very serious Somewhat serious Not so serious Not a problem at all Don’t know
1/8-12/20 White 3 31 40 19 8 1
6/14-18/20 White 16 37 39 15 6 2
1/8-12/20 Black or Hispanic 45 56 33 6 5 1
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic 68 77 13 8 1 2
How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today: by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net very vs not so/not at all Very serious Somewhat serious Not so serious Not a problem at all Don’t know
1/8-12/20 MKE City 48 63 22 8 6 1
6/14-18/20 MKE City 57 65 25 5 3 2
1/8-12/20 Rest of MKE 11 37 32 19 7 3
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE 14 35 41 15 7 3
1/8-12/20 MSN 26 41 42 11 5 1
6/14-18/20 MSN 39 55 29 12 4 0
1/8-12/20 GB/A -18 19 43 23 14 1
6/14-18/20 GB/A 12 38 34 22 4 2
1/8-12/20 Rest of state -9 23 42 20 12 2
6/14-18/20 Rest of state 11 30 46 14 5 3
How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today: by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net very vs not so/not at all Very serious Somewhat serious Not so serious Not a problem at all Don’t know
1/8-12/20 Principal city 31 48 32 12 6 2
6/14-18/20 Principal city 36 51 31 10 6 0
1/8-12/20 Suburban core 9 33 39 17 7 2
6/14-18/20 Suburban core 21 40 38 15 4 3
1/8-12/20 Exurbs and large towns -9 20 49 16 13 1
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns 12 35 40 18 5 2
1/8-12/20 Small town -18 21 39 29 10 1
6/14-18/20 Small town 25 44 37 18 1 1
1/8-12/20 Isolated rural -8 27 32 27 8 1
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural -3 31 33 20 14 2
How serious a problem do you think that prejudice against Black people is in the United States today: by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net very vs not so/not at all Very serious Somewhat serious Not so serious Not a problem at all Don’t know
1/8-12/20 Republican -44 7 40 32 19 2
6/14-18/20 Republican -22 11 51 24 10 4
1/8-12/20 Independent 13 36 39 16 7 1
6/14-18/20 Independent 20 41 37 17 4 1
1/8-12/20 Democrat 54 60 31 5 2 2
6/14-18/20 Democrat 71 73 23 2 0 1

Evaluation of Donald Trump’s handling of protests

We asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the response to protests about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis?”

Approval of Trump response to protests, June and August 2020
Poll dates Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 -28 30 58 11
8/4-9/20 -26 32 58 9
Approval of Trump response to protests by race, June and August 2020
Poll dates Race Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 White -23 32 55 11
8/4-9/20 White -25 32 57 10
6/14-18/20 Black or Hispanic -80 6 86 9
8/4-9/20 Black or Hispanic -59 20 78 2
Approval of Trump response to protests by region, June and August 2020
Poll dates Region Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 MKE City -71 12 82 6
8/4-9/20 MKE City -55 21 75 4
6/14-18/20 Rest of MKE -13 36 49 12
8/4-9/20 Rest of MKE -21 34 55 11
6/14-18/20 MSN -44 25 69 6
8/4-9/20 MSN -30 32 61 6
6/14-18/20 GB/A -17 34 50 12
8/4-9/20 GB/A -19 33 53 13
6/14-18/20 Rest of state -30 27 57 15
8/4-9/20 Rest of state -27 31 59 9
Approval of Trump response to protests by urban-rural, June and August 2020
Poll dates Type of place Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Principal city -45 21 66 13
8/4-9/20 Principal city -55 18 73 8
6/14-18/20 Suburban core -23 34 57 7
8/4-9/20 Suburban core -20 36 56 7
6/14-18/20 Exurbs and large towns -9 41 50 8
8/4-9/20 Exurbs and large towns -16 35 51 13
6/14-18/20 Small town -47 14 61 20
8/4-9/20 Small town -11 41 52 6
6/14-18/20 Isolated rural 7 48 42 10
8/4-9/20 Isolated rural 3 45 42 12
Approval of Trump response to protests by party identification, June and August 2020
Poll dates Party ID Net Approve Disapprove Don’t know
6/14-18/20 Republican 41 61 20 17
8/4-9/20 Republican 44 65 20 15
6/14-18/20 Independent -33 27 60 11
8/4-9/20 Independent -33 28 61 10
6/14-18/20 Democrat -95 1 96 3
8/4-9/20 Democrat -92 2 94 3

Methodolgy

This report is based on Marquette Law School polling in June and August 2020 in Wisconsin. Details of each survey and full methodology statement are available at https://law.marquette.edu/poll/category/results-and-data/