It’s official! A majority of registered voters in America have a negative view of the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a new Harvard-Harris Poll and reported by Breitbart.
But is this news, or simply stating the obvious?
In our culture where almost anything goes, the “reasonable person” standard—ordinary, reasonable, prudent, etc.—is out the window. Or so it seems! Therefore, what should be obvious isn’t, and it took a poll to confirm these details. Sadly, that isn’t all that was confirmed.
Key findings of the poll on the related topics of the Black Lives Matter movement, police, and race include the following:
- Fifty-seven percent of registered voters say they have an unfavorable opinion of Black Lives Matter protests and protesters, while only 43 percent say they have a favorable opinion.
- Seventy percent of registered voters say that black on black crime in African American communities is a bigger problem today, while 30 percent say police violence towards African Americans is a bigger problem.
- Fifty-six percent of voters think the police are too quick to use force, while 44 percent think the police typically only use force when necessary.
- Sixty-four percent of voters think race affects police use of force, while 36 percent say race does not affect the use of force.
- Fifty-four percent of voters say police are too quick to shoot African American suspects, while 46 percent say police engage with people of all races about the same.
- Fifty percent of voters say the criminal justice system treats people of all races and ethnicities about the same, 50 percent say it is biased against African Americans and other minorities.
The stunning part of this poll is that nearly as many people (56 percent) think police are too quick to use force as those who gave BLM an unfavorable opinion (57 percent).
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“The Harvard-Harris Poll is a monthly poll released by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris Insights and Analytics,” according to its website. It debuted in February 2017. Harris Insights and Analytics is a Stagwell company.
Mark Penn, the pollster for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign, is the managing partner of the Stagwell Group, and is one of the poll’s co-directors. The two other co-directors of the poll are Stephen D. Ansolabehere, a professor of Government and the director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, and Dritan Nesho, a fellow at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
The survey “was conducted online within the United States between July 19-24, 2017 among 2,032 registered voters by The Harris Poll.”
Yet we all know that poll results can be heavily influenced by the manner in which questions are asked. So how were the questions phrased?
The Harvard-Harris Poll asked respondents questions about more than a dozen additional key issues, three of which have been rolled out separately in articles published by The Hill, the Harvard Harris Poll’s media partner. Rather than release a topline key findings memo along with the poll results, as many polling companies do, the Harvard-Harris Poll has released that information through exclusive cross tab data or exclusive interviews conducted by The Hill with the poll’s co-director, Mark Penn.
As a result, we wonder if their findings concrete or dubious? You be the judge!