On Tuesday, writing for FiveThirtyEight, political science professor Michael Tesler analyzed the data revealing that Republican voters have sharply turned against those protesting for racial justice and police accountability — and the reason why.
"Polling from June 2020 found that most Republican voters supported the nonviolent protests that swept across the country after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin," reported Tesler. "But as you can see in the chart below, Republican support for peaceful racial justice protests has plummeted since then."
As Tesler noted, the main reason Republican voters changed their minds is that they came to believe that the racial injustices these protesters were fighting do not exist at all.
"A poll conducted at the height of the protests last summer found that Republicans were 44 points more likely than Democrats (67 to 23 percent, respectively) to say that the protests were primarily motivated by long-standing biases against the police, whereas 66 percent of Democrats versus 22 percent of Republicans said the protests were motivated by a genuine desire to hold police accountable," wrote Tesler. "The same poll found an even greater partisan divide in views about racial biases in the criminal justice system, with 90 percent of people who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 saying the criminal justice system treats white people better than Black people, compared to just 25 percent of Trump’s 2016 voters."
Meanwhile, some Republican politicians are encouraging this view. In Virginia, state Sen. Amanda Chase proclaimed that the conviction of Derek Chauvin "makes me feel sick," and the chair of the Bexar County, Texas Republican Party even suggested that the Floyd murder was a hoax staged to hurt Trump, which earned condemnation even from fellow Republicans.
"Republicans appear to be even more animated by racial grievances since Trump left the White House," warned Tesler. "The backlash against critical race theory, Republicans’ growing support for deporting immigrants, and Trump voters’ mounting disapproval of BLM and nonviolent protests for racial justice are all part and parcel of a broader trend of Republican rising conservatism on race in the Biden era."
You can read more here.