(NEXSTAR) – Despite support for the protests over George Floyd’s death and disapproval of President Trump’s response, a poll released Wednesday shows that a presidential election held today would be too close to call.
A Nexstar Media/Emerson College poll conducted this week found that 47.1% disapprove of the president’s response as protests continue nationwide and around the world, while 35.7% approve.
Protests are now entering a second week after disturbing video showed former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on the black 46-year-old’s neck, with Floyd crying out for several minutes saying he couldn’t breathe before he finally stopped moving.
A medical examiner found Floyd’s cause of death to be homicide. An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family found the cause of death to be asphyxiation from neck and back compression.
An overwhelming 87.2% of those polled agreed that Chauvin should face criminal charges. On Wednesday, prosecutors upgraded the charges against Chauvin from third-degree murder to unintentional second-degree murder.
The other three officers who were fired after Floyd’s death have also been charged. Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Most feel Chauvin should be charged with either first degree (42.7%) or second degree (25.9%) murder.
A majority believe the three other former officers involved in the fatal arrest should be charged with either murder (40.2%) or accessory to murder (41.3%). Only 6% thought they should not be charged.
The protests over police brutality and Floyd’s death saw support from 45.9% of people; another 37.9% said they disapproved.
However, an overwhelming number of people (75.6%) disapproved of the property destruction and looting that has been seen in numerous cities.
A majority (64.1%) said they thought police treat white people in the United States better than minorities, but respondents were split on whether or not police are prejudiced. They were also evenly split on whether or not the protests would reduce instances of police brutality.
In terms of race relations in America, more than half (54%) believe they will improve in the future, while 20.4% of those polled think they will get worse.
Despite the rejection of President Trump’s hard line response to the sweeping protests, if the election was held today, 47.4% would choose Joe Biden with 43.1% for Donald Trump, which is within the margin of error. Another 9.5% said they were undecided.
A higher percentage (56.2%) said they were leaning toward voting for Joe Biden than for Trump (43.8%).
However, when asked who will win in November, 53.5% said they thought Trump would remain in office with 46.5% saying Biden would be the next U.S. president.
About the Poll
The Nexstar Media / Emerson College poll was conducted across the United States June 2-3, 2020. The sample for the poll consisted of registered voters, n=1431, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by education, party affiliation, age, ethnicity, and education. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and an online panel.