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What Impact has Trump and the BLM Movement Had on the Minds of White Voters

• Over the course of the last month, a large number of Americans have shown their support for demonstrations against police brutality, and many have voiced out that the President is “ill-equipped” on racial justice, according to a new National Poll of registered voters by the New York Times.

• 59% of voters, including 52% of white voters, believe that the death of George Floyd is part of a much broader pattern of excessive police violence in the United States. Additionally,44% of the voters viewed the Black Lives Matter Movement as “favourable”.

• These numbers add to the increasing evidence that public opinion on racial equality has largely shifted, forming political allies for the BLM Movement, a movement that until recently was considered trivial and divisive.

• It also highlights how President Trump is evidently out of touch with a country he is looking to lead for a second term. Voters aren’t pleased with the way he has been dealing with matters of police reform and racial justice. He has also been denounced by many for using racist language.

• Political activist groups and civil rights groups have openly criticized and denounced the practices of the Trump administration in the past few weeks as well.

• These protests have awakened a large-scale and open understanding about police brutality and systemic racism among American commoners. What began in the Democratic primary, in which white liberals showed a new openness to candidates speaking boldly about systemic injustice, has continued into the general election.

• The coalition of Americans who support the protesters’ cause have expressed disappointment and said that Trump has a tendency to exclusively speak directly to his supporters, while disregarding the concerns and opinions of those who aren’t “white conservatives.”

• While the poll largely shows Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden in a favourable position, especially in terms of racial justice and the voters’ belief in his capability to the unite a divided country, more than 40% of White voters have agreed that to some extent, discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as other forms of discrimination.

• This brings about a theme of white grievance politics that Trump and his supporters have long expressed.

• The poll also takes into account age brackets and generational gaps among voters. The general observation is that a very small number of older voters and senior citizen voters are in favour of the BLM Movement and the protests.

• Among younger voters, 67% considered the movement as “very favourable”.

• The protests and Trump’s response to the protests have brought about an observational shift in the attitudes of young and middle-aged voters, a lot of them who earlier conformed to right-wing or centrist beliefs, are now leaning towards the left.

• It is now yet to be seen if this might just turn out to be a temporary agitation among young voters or it may actually take a major toll on the Trump administration during the general election in November. Reporter : Pranav G


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