Majority of Minnesotans Have ‘A Great Deal of Confidence’ in Police, Strongly Oppose Defunding Minneapolis Police Department

On July 1, The Center of the American Experiment released the following statement:

An overwhelming majority of Minnesotans have confidence in their local police departments and oppose plans to defund and disband the Minneapolis police department, according to a new statewide Center of the American Experiment poll.

John Hinderaker, President of the Center of the American Experiment, commented, “To politicians everywhere who are pushing to defund the police, my advice is to stop and read the room. Minnesotans are not with you, and it will have consequences for the city of Minneapolis.”

Follow these links for topline results and analysis from the pollster, Meeting Street Insights. The poll surveyed 500 registered voters in Minnesota between June 15 and June 17, 2020. It found:

Minnesotans have positive attitudes toward police, statewide.

  • 85% of Minnesotans statewide feel safe around their local police and have confidence in them to act in the best interests of the public.
  • A majority (58%) of Minneapolis and St. Paul residents have confidence in their police, but the rest of the state is noticeably higher, including the Twin Cities suburbs* (86%).
  • 85% of Minnesotans believe George Floyd’s death is likely to lead to real police reform.

Minneapolis/St. Paul residents are divided on defunding the police, while the rest of the state stands strongly opposed.

  • 68% of Minnesotans oppose the City of Minneapolis’ plan to defund the police, while 76% oppose defunding their own local police departments.
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul residents are starkly divided on the issue of defunding the Minneapolis police department. In total, 56% support it, but only 38% strongly support it while 25% strongly oppose it.

Minnesotans who live outside of Minneapolis will be much less likely to visit the city if the police are defunded.

  • Nearly three-in-four Minnesotans (72%) will be less likely – with 58% saying they will be ‘much less likely’ – to travel to Minneapolis for dining or entertainment if the police are defunded.
  • 71% of residents in the Twin Cities suburbs say they will be less likely to visit.

A large majority of Minnesotans believe the protests were justified, while most don’t believe the riots were.

  • 77% of Minnesotans think the protests and demonstrations were fully or partially justified, and 78% think the burning and looting were not justified.
  • 51% of Minneapolis and St. Paul residents were concerned about their own personal safety during the riots and protests, as well as 29% of residents in the Twin Cities suburbs.
  • By a two-to-one margin, Minnesotans statewide think the National Guard should have been deployed sooner and in greater numbers, but most Democrats (55%) disagree.

Minnesotans either don’t want state taxpayers to pick up the cost of damages from the riots, or want to only pay for part of the damages.

  • Voters are evenly split between using state taxpayer dollars to pay for part of the damages (39%) or not paying for anything at all (39%).
  • A plurality of voters outside of the Twin Cities metro area don’t think the state should pay for any of the damages.
  • Only a very small minority statewide (5%) thinks state taxpayers should pay for all of it.

Minnesotans have negative feelings about protestors toppling the Christopher Columbus statue in St. Paul without legal consequence.

  • The top three emotions conveyed were: disgusted (34%), angry (20%), and sad (20%).

*Twin Cities suburbs consist of: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott, Washington, and Wright counties, and the portions of Hennepin and Ramsey counties that are not within Minneapolis and St. Paul city limits.