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A new poll from Rassmussen Reports suggests that “Riot Zone” voters — those who live in and around areas affected by recent looting and destruction — favor President Donald Trump’s approach to handling unrest by a 2-to-1 margin.
The Washington Examiner reports that the poll, which, as The Daily Wire pointed out Wednesday, also has Trump leading for the first time, shows that “63% of voters who have seen violent protests in their community ‘strongly approve’ of the president — just 35% don’t.”
“The survey is the latest showing Trump winning the ‘law and order vote’ as the country sees violence from the protests expand from big cities to smaller communities, such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania,” per the Examiner.
“Trump’s position is not only winning fans but may also be helping his overall approval rating,” the outlet notes. “Rasmussen, for example, also said that Trump’s approval rating is 51% for a second day. At this stage of his presidency and reelection campaign, former President Barack Obama had a 49% approval rating.”
More concerning, perhaps, for Biden, is the number of voters who see protest-related violence in their communities as a top issue in the upcoming election.
“The law and order vote is a big one. Rasmussen said that 42% of likely voters said that their communities have hosted the anti-police protests in their communities. And nearly half said those protests turned violent, making them a big issue, even to those who haven’t witnessed the violence,” the Examiner noted.
The number of voters who say violence is a “very important” issue for them ranges from 65% to 76%, with the higher number being voters who live in districts that have actually seen protest-related violence.
The poll numbers may not be surprising to either Trump’s re-election team or Joe Biden’s campaign; Biden, of course, shifted his tone on ongoing unrest dramatically after riots broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin—a more residential city in a swing state. They may, however, be surprising to the Black Lives Matter movement overall, which is seeing its popularity decline as Trump’s rises.
A second poll, this one from Pew Research, shows a marked decline in overall support for Black Lives Matter, from 67% at the height of national anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests, to 55% now. “The share who say they strongly support the movement stands at 29%, down from 38% three months ago,” Pew adds.
“The recent decline in support for the Black Lives Matter movement is particularly notable among White and Hispanic adults,” the outlet notes. “In June, a majority of White adults (60%) said they supported the movement at least somewhat; now, fewer than half (45%) express at least some support. The share of Hispanic adults who support the movement has decreased 11 percentage points, from 77% in June to 66% today.”
The problem, the New York Post adds, is that many white voters are conflating the Black Lives Matter movement with ongoing, often violent unrest, even though much of the rioting and violence in places like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, is separate—and often at odds—with the anti-racism protest movement.
Voters are still largely torn on who they believe will be better at leading the country through this crisis. Recent polling from both Monmouth and Fox News both note that, while voters generally approve of Trump’s job as president, they do believe Joe Biden is better equipped to handle a national crisis on race.