New Poll: Black Voters Say Police Used Unjustified Force Against Tyre Nichols and Officers Should Be Found Guilty; Disapprove of DeSantis Blocking Black History Courses (BLACKtrack)
AUDIENCE:Public Safety, Critical Race Theory/Education, Race and Racism, African-Americans
Biden’s Job Approval Increases and More Black Voter Attitudes on Spy Balloons, Diverting Police Funds and Comparing Superbowl Performances
Washington, D.C. | February 28 – Eighty-two (82%) of Black voters believe the police force used in the death of Tyre Nichols was unjustified, and 90% believe the Memphis policemen who used such force should be found guilty, according to HIT Strategies’ latest survey tracking attitudes of Black voters (BlackTrack). A majority (59%) of Black voters also believe that resources should be diverted from police departments to fund community services.
Black voters also expressed their displeasure with Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis blocking an AP African American history program in public schools. Sixty-five (65%) reported they disagreed with the decision, with a majority (51%) saying they “strongly disagree.” Just 14% said they agreed with the decision. On the topic of Black history, 70% of Black voters also believe K-12 public schools teach “too little” about Black history.
Additionally, after several high-altitude objects entered U.S. airspace, including a large spy-balloon from China, 68% of Black voters approved of the President’s handling of this issue- only 6% disapproved.
Finally, this month’s BlackTrack, surveyed on the heels of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, showed a presidential approval bump. Biden’s Black approval increased from 74% to 82% over just the last month.
- The 90% of Black voters who believe the Memphis policemen should be found guilty is 20-points higher than the 70% majority of Americans who believe the officers should be found guilty in a recent YouGov survey.
- There is a large generation gap in Black voters (66%) who viewed footage of Tyre Nichols murder- 75% of Black voters 50 and over watched compared to 59% of Black voters under 50.
- Black voters under 50 were far more likely than their 50 and over counterparts to say force against Nichols was justified (25% compared to 10%).
- Still, there was just a 7-point gap between generations on whether police should be found guilty, 87% of Black voters under 50 and 94% of Black voters 50 and over say police should be found guilty.
- A majority (59%) of Black voters believe that resources should be diverted from police departments to fund community services. Just 8% disagreed.
- 22% of Black voters under 50 agreed with DeSantis’s decision to block the AP African American studies course, compared with just 3% of Black voters 50 and over.
- 86% of Black voters 50 and over believe there is too little Black history taught in public schools, against just 59% of Black voters under 50.
February BlackTrack Tracking Questions
President Biden’s Approval
- 82% of Black voters approve of Joe Biden’s job as president, an 8-point increase from just last month.
- Across gender, 81% of Black men approve and 83% of Black women approve.
- Across generations, there is a much larger gap: 88% of Black voters 50 and over approve compared to 77% of Black voters under 50.
Congressional Democrat’s Approval
- 80% of Black voters approve of Democrats in Congress, a 6-point increase from last month.
- Across gender, 79% of Black men approve, and 81% of Black women approve.
- Across generations, there is a much larger gap: 87% of Black voters 50 and over approve compared to 75% of Black voters under 50.
- 59% of Black voters believe their vote has the power to make a change, a modest increase from 55% last month.
- Across gender, 61% of Black men feel powerful, and 57% of Black women feel powerful.
- Across generations, 62% of Black voters 50 and over feel powerful, and 57% of Black voters under 50 feel powerful.
Entertainment and Culture
- Black voters were tuned into the Superbowl earlier this month: 65% of Black voters watched the NFL matchup and 71% watched the Superbowl halftime show.
- On a scale of 0 -10, Black voters gave Rihanna’s half-time performance a rating of 7.6, with 79% of Black voters viewing her performance as “good,” of which 61% rated it as “very good.”
- Half of Black voters (50%) believe that last year’s half-time show performance, featuring Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige, was their favorite of the past 5 years.
- 32% rated Rihanna’s as their favorite of the last 5 years.
- Single digits rated The Weeknd (9%), Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (7%), and Maroon 5 (2%) as their favorite.
- Prior to the game, 65% of Black voters were aware that this was the first Superbowl with two Black starting quarterbacks.
- 49% of Black voters believes the NFL has not done enough to show respect for its Black players
- 45% believe the NFL has done “just enough.”
- 6% believe the NFL has done “too much.”
This BlackTrack survey was fielded via an online opt-in panel from February 16-19, 2023, with a margin of error of +/-3.1%. The information above represents selected data from the BlackTrack survey.
BlackTrack is HIT Strategies’ recurring monthly national survey of 1,000 Black voters ages 18+ on current social and political issues. BlackTrack tracks Black Americans’ attitudes and disaggregates the data into demographic groups to understand Black voters’ full diversity of opinions. The majority of BlackTrack data is proprietary and available for subscribers. For more information on previous data or to subscribe, go to hitstrat.com/blacktrack.
About HIT Strategies
As Washington’s leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion research company, HIT Strategies helps leaders and organizations translate target audiences’ values into real-time insights. We understand America’s fastest-growing electorate and consumer groups and specialize in targeting communities under-represented in public opinion data, including Black Americans, Latino Americans, Millennials + Genz, LGBTQ+, Women, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. For more information, visit hitstrat.com and follow @HITStrat on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.