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Latest BlackTrack Poll Finds Black Americans Attitudes Shift On Defund The Police With A Majority Agreeing

Washington, D.C., June 30 | Black American’s attitudes towards defunding the police have shifted, with a majority of Black Americans (53%) supporting defunding the police. After asking respondents if they agree with “funding community resources, schools, and healthcare while redirecting resources from and overhauling our police departments,” support for the policy increased from 53 percent to 67 percent. The shift represents one of the highest records of Black support for the policy to reallocate police funding. The data is from the latest BlackTrack, a monthly survey of Black American adults by HIT Strategies to track the evolving opinions of Black Americans. The June BlackTrack was conducted between May 28 and June 1, 2021.

Previous public polling on “defunding the police” showed the term was unpopular even amongst Black voters, despite the policy’s underlying tenants remaining popular. For example, in our June 2020, BlackTrack was conducted following the #BlackLivesMatter protests, only 46% of Black adults agreed with “defund the police and fund community organizations” as a proposed solution to police brutality, with 35% definitely agreeing. Blacktrack has been tracking Black American attitudes towards the police for over a year now, with this June 2021 iteration showing the highest support and favorability for defunding the police.

Issues of crime, police funding, and public safety stand to continue defining elections for Democrats, including the 2022 midterms and local races like the New York City Democratic mayoral primary. Changing attitudes on defunding the police represent an opportunity for Democrats to reshape public safety policy.

“Not talking about defunding the police doesn’t mean that nobody will hear about defunding the police; it simply means they will only hear how the Right defines defunding the police,” said Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies’ founding partner. “With a majority of Democrats’ most loyal voters supporting defund, it is time to stop dismissing the issue, stop treating the activists on the left like they are Democrats’ opposition, and start really reimagining public safety in a way that brings the country along this journey of reform. This is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to learn how to talk about these hot-button political issues, especially when the majority of their most loyal voters are telling them what they want.”

Other noteworthy findings:

Economic Hardships

  • 13% faced eviction or foreclosure.  
  • 23% skipped or was late on mortgage/rent.
  • 37% skipped or missed a bill payment.

Top Issue Priorities

  • 16% (the highest) reducing racism and discrimination is the top priority.
  • 13% affordable housing is the top priority.
  • 12% expanding job opportunities is the top priority.
  • 10% reducing gun violence is the top priority.
  • 9% lowering cost of healthcare
  • 9% forgiving student loan debt
  • 7% criminal justice reform

View of Police

  • 44% had an unfavorable view of the police.
  • 38% had a favorable view of the police.
  • 18% had a neutral view of police.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Democrats in Congress Approval

  • 86% approve of Joe Biden’s job addressing the needs of black people.
  • 79% approve of Kamala Harris.
  • 81% approve of Democrats in Congress.

Quality of Life

  • 74% say their quality of life has improved since Joe Biden became President.
  • 68% believe their vote has made a difference.

This BlackTrack survey was fielded from May 28 – June 1, 2021, conducted via an online opt-in panel, with a margin of error of +/-3.1% at a 95% confidence level. The information above represents selected data from the BlackTrack survey. Find more June BlackTrack analysis via the dashboard here.

About HIT Strategies 
HIT Strategies is a public opinion research company specializing in researching young adults, people of color, women, LGBTQ+, and other underserved communities. As the leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion firm, HIT Strategies maintains an unmatched cultural competence when understanding, engaging, and communicating with Millennial and Gen-Z audiences and diverse communities like Black Americans, Latinos, and Asian American Pacific Islanders. For more information, visit hitstrat.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HITStrat  

About BlackTrack
Blacktrack is HIT Strategies’ recurring monthly national survey of 1,000 Black adults ages 18+ on current social and political issues. BlackTrack tracks Black Americans’ opinions and disaggregates the data into demographic groups to understand Black voters’ full diversity. A majority of BlackTrack data is proprietary and available for subscribers. For more information on previous data or to subscribe, go to hitstrat.com/blacktrack.