Swing-state voters in Wisconsin have soured on the Black Lives Matter movement, a Marquette Law School poll finds, with support for anti-racism demonstrations dropping a shocking 25% following the riots and looting in Kenosha.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to deliver a series of remarks Monday blaming President Donald Trump’s “divisiveness” for a sudden hike in unrest across the country — unrest that, just last week, resulted in the deaths of three people, two in Wisconsin and one in Portland, Oregon.
Biden is likely responding to a series of polls showing the gap between himself and President Donald Trump narrowing in nearly every battleground state following weeks of unrest in Portland and Seattle, Washington, and several days of uncontrolled looting, arson, and riots in Kenosha, ostensibly in response to a police-involved shooting that left a 29-year-old black man, Jacob Blake, in critical condition with seven gunshot wounds.
But alongside narrowing presidential poll numbers is sinking support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the Marquette study finds, with support dropping by 25% among those who are now seeing the damage wrought by rioters in connection with or as a result of major anti-racism demonstrations.
“In June approval of protests was widespread, with 61 percent approving of the protests and 36 percent disapproving,” the poll found. “Approval declined in August with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.”
The biggest change was among suburbanites who were, it seems, largely unaware of protests (and ensuing riots) when they were affecting major urban areas but began to pay attention when Kenosha, a more suburban, more residential area of Wisconsin, started seeing major damage.
Approval of BLM “declined in each of five urban-suburban categories including cities, suburbs, exurbs, small towns, and rural areas,” the study’s authors note. “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.”
And Democrats are also souring on the situation, Marquette says: “Net approval also declined across all three categories of party identification, with the largest declines among Republicans.”
The poll questioned only those who reside in Wisconsin, but given the change in presidential polls following both the Republican National Conventions and last week’s riots in Kenosha, it is likely that a similar phenomenon is occurring across the board among swing-state voters.
President Donald Trump addressed the riots repeatedly during his appearances at the RNC, and his message was driven home by protesters who targeted attendees of the president’s nomination acceptance speech last Thursday, harassing and threatening a number of high-profile individuals, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who told Fox News that he feared for his life as protesters harassed him and his wife.