A majority of likely U.S. voters believes the country is experiencing a war on police and that politicians should enact policy classifying attacks on cops as hate crimes, according to a new poll.
Released on Thursday, Rasmussen’s polling came amid a wave of calls to defund police and a swell in anti-police sentiment. Since 2018, the percentage of likely voters who believes there’s a war on cops has increased from 43% to 59%.
The latest data represented a slight uptick from the 58% high reported in 2015. Meanwhile, 29% disagreed with that view and 12% reported as undecided. The poll has a 3% margin of error.
Rasmussen conducted the poll with 1,000 likely voters on Sept. 15-16, as news surfaced that law enforcement officers were attacked in Compton, Calif., and other cities. Last weekend, footage emerged in which an assailant walked up to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department car and shot two deputies who were inside, wounding them.
Those types of attacks should be considered hate crimes, according to 59% of likely voters. Support for those so-called “Blue Lives Matter” laws is unchanged from 2016 when Rasmussen polled the issue. That proposal, previously adopted by Louisiana, faced opposition from 25% of voters while 16% were undecided.
The polling also revealed racial disparities in support for those laws. While Blacks (52% vs. 63%) were less likely to support Blue Lives Matter laws, they were more likely than Whites (84% vs. 66%) to worry about deadly attacks leading to a shortage of police officers.
Repubicans are more likely than Democrats to support those laws (80% vs. 39%) and support “Blue Lives Matter” in their state (79% vs. 45%).
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