DHM OVBC Panel July Survey Results
August 21, 2020
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a police officer, which has led to a call for action across the country to end racial inequality and police brutality. People across the globe continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement and there has been increased demands to reform, defund, or abolish the police. In this month’s panel, DHM Research explored the attitudes and beliefs that Oregonians have towards the police, protests, and some of the changes being proposed.
These findings come from the July 2020 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from July 14 to 22, 2020, and surveyed 603 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregonians ages 18+. The margin of error for this survey ranges from ±2.4% to ±4.0%.
Oregonians’ support for the Black Lives Matter movement has increased since 2018.
Two thirds of Oregonians (66%) now support the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM); this represents a 12-point increase from when we asked this question back in May of 2018. Support for BLM is higher in Oregon than in the rest of the nation as a whole. About half of Americans support BLM, according to a national survey conducted by Civiqs, and support has increased nationally over this same time period.
Support for BLM varies by age, region, and party. Differences by political party are particularly stark. 91% of Democrats and 64% of NAV/other voters below the age of 30 (92% among those ages 18–29) compared to those ages 30 and above (53%–69%). Finally, support is higher in the Portland metro area (72%) than in the rest of Oregon (61%–63%).
Oregonians are having conversations about race, racism, and policing (and that’s not all).
55% of Oregonians report that they’ve talked with family or friends about racial injustice since the death of George Floyd. Oregonians have also taken other forms of action such as posting on social media (28%), signing a petition (24%), donating money (17%), and attending a protest or demonstration (12%).
Oregonians who have taken action most often attribute it to dialogue and open communication being good (27%) and wanting to support the movement (18%).
Among all of the actions asked, younger Oregonians and Democrats are the most active in showcasing support for the Black Lives Matter movement; they’re particularly more active in talking with family or friends about racial injustice (14 point increase), posting on social media about racial injustice (20 point increase), and signing petitions (21 point increase).
Although many have taken action, over a third of Oregonians have not (36%). Generally speaking, those who do not support BLM are less likely to have taken action in response to recent events.
Two-thirds of Oregonians support the protests held around the country in response to the death of George Floyd.
67% of Oregonians support the recent protests held in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Still, almost a third (29%) of Oregonians oppose these protests.
Similar to the Black Lives Matter movement, support for the protests is strongest among Democrats (86%) and younger Oregonians (18-29: 82%), while a majority of Republicans (57%) oppose the protests.
Half of Oregonians disapprove of the way police have responded to the protests.
53% of Oregonians disapprove of how police have responded to the protests, while one-third (35%) approve of their response. Differences are notable by age and political affiliation.
Those ages 18-29 (70%) are more likely to report disapproval of recent police behavior, while those over the age of 45 are more split in their views. Democrats (68%) and NAV/Other (51%) disapprove of the police’s response to protests considerably more than Republicans (28%).
Oregonians aren’t sure how violent protests are and who incites violence at protests when it occurs.
Half of Oregonians (50%) think that the protests have been both peaceful and violent, while 27% believe the protests have been mostly peaceful and 19% believe they’ve been mostly violent. Points of view vary most significantly by political affiliation.
Republicans (44%) are more likely to report the protests as violent, while Democrats report protests being more peaceful at a higher rate (48%).
Likewise, there’s no consensus among Oregonians as to who is stirring up violence when it happens. A plurality of Oregonians (34%) believe the violence at protests is due to people other than protestors acting irresponsibly. About a quarter (24%) believe the violence is incited by protestors and 15% say that police are to blame for violence. An additional 21% say the blame is shared among these groups.
Oregonians are less optimistic than Americans about the prospect for meaningful reform.
A plurality of Oregonians are unsure (38%) if the recent protests calling to end racial inequality will lead to meaningful reform, while the remainder are split (31% yes and no) as to what the future holds.
In contrast, national research by Quinnipiac University Poll found that over half (55%) of Americans believe the protests will lead to meaningful reform, while 38% disagree and 7% were unsure.
In Oregon, opinions are widely divided by political affiliation, area of the state, and age. Democrats (48%) are more likely to believe meaningful reform will happen, while few Republicans (8%) hold this belief; NAV/Other (34%) align more closely with Democrats.
Portland metro residents (38%) are more optimistic about meaningful reform than those in Willamette Valley (27%) and the rest of the state (24%). Those ages 18-29 (39%) are more likely to believe meaningful reform will happen as a result of the protests than those ages 45-64 (26%).
Oregonians are concerned about the potential impact of protests on the spread of COVID-19.
Almost two thirds of Oregonians (64%) are concerned that the recent protests may lead to an increase in coronavirus cases. In a seemingly rare moment of consensus, these concerns are shared across all demographic groups. Those in the tri-county area are slightly more worried (71%) than others.