How Americans respond to death of George Floyd, protests, and how Trump has handled it

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – We’re getting some data to back up how Americans are responding to the protests all across the nation. 

After days of protest following the death of George Floyd, more than half of Americans say race relations haven’t improved since the 1960s. 

“It was very surprising to see that a majority of people think they’re either the same or worse,” Spencer Kimball, polling director at Emerson College, said. 

That’s according to the Nexstar Emerson College poll released Wednesday. 

Spencer Kimball, the polling director, says the poll shows clear signs of a divided nation.

“Only 43 percent of the country said they trust the police. Those are the people we train our children to go to if there’s a problem. That’s something I think we have to address as a society,” Kimball said. 

Almost 46 percent of those polled approve of the protests, while nearly 38 percent disapprove. 

On President Trump’s handling of the situation, about 47 percent of Americans don’t approve, compared to 35 percent who support how the president responded to the death of George Floyd.

Although, Kimball says the president’s response hasn’t impacted his overall approval numbers. 

“Voters may be perturbed by some of his actions and activities. But at the end of the day when they have to cast a ballot, they may still vote for him,” Kimball said. 

There were a few points on which a vast majority of Americans agree. Almost 90 percent said the officer who killed George Floyd should be prosecuted.

“That cuts by party, by race, by age. Everybody is in agreement what the officer did was wrong,” Kimball said.

Kimball says if Americans are looking for a reason to be hopeful, a majority of respondents say they believe race relations will improve in the future. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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