Wisconsin is a critical swing state for the 2020 election. Is this a sign of a mayor shift of preferences? It is widely known that Trump sentiment is negatively correlated with BLM support.
This poll, released on August 26, was designed to assess the public reaction that was triggered in Wisconsin following the death of George Floyd in police custody and the ensuing mass protests, some of which have been marred by violence.
It does not reflect any possible change in public sentiment after the Jacob Blake incident and the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots, as the data was collected prior to these events.
The poll showed that the approval rating for the mass protests that have occurred since Floyd's death in Wisconsin in June is very broad, with 61 percent approval and 36 percent disapproval.
In August, approval fell sharply, with 48 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval. The drop was overwhelmingly driven by white respondents who changed their minds about the protests.
The survey also tried to measure whether Wisconsin respondents viewed the protests as "mostly peaceful or mostly violent." Forty-eight percent said they were generally peaceful, compared to 41 percent who said the protests had been mostly violent. These results are based on data for August, as this question was not asked in June.
65 percent of Wisconsin black or Hispanic respondents viewed the protests as largely peaceful, although only 47 percent of white voters expressed this view. Twenty-one percent of black or Hispanic respondents viewed the protests as predominantly violent, in contrast to 42 percent of white respondents.
A similar dynamic was observed in those people who saw Black Lives Matter as something negative. 27 percent said in June that they had a negative opinion of the movement, while in August, 37 percent expressed this opinion.
Support for Black Lives Matter varied by race, geography, and party affiliation. Black or Hispanic respondents held a very favorable opinion while the opinions of white respondents became much less favorable between June and August.
Favorable opinion fell sharply among Republicans and modestly among Democrats; unfavorable opinion rose from 49 to 71 percent among Republicans and fell from 4 to 3 percent among Democrats.
The poll also showed that a large majority oppose cutting the police budget, with 70 percent in June and 78 percent in August expressing opposition to this measure.
On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Republican National Convention, where he defended the police and called for an end to unrest in cities where fires, looting and violence broke out.