Thinking Minnesota Poll: Minnesotans don’t trust Walz to handle crime

Majority now question Walz’s leadership, believe the state is on the wrong track and believe crime has gotten worse over the past year

According to the latest Thinking Minnesota poll, Minnesotans have lost confidence in Gov. Tim Walz to address the growing problem of riots and lawlessness in Minneapolis. Fifty-five percent of poll respondents do not approve of Walz’s response to the riots, with only 39 percent approving. This is a complete reversal from the June 2020 Thinking Minnesota poll where 59 percent approved of Walz’s handling of the riots. In a related metric, 48 percent of Minnesotans now believe the state is on the wrong track, compared to 45 percent who believe the state is on the right track. This is the first time in recent memory that a plurality of respondents believe Minnesota is on the wrong track, a reflection of their lack of confidence in Gov. Walz.

Crime is driving the wrong track sentiment with 81 percent of Minnesotans personally concerned about the level of crime in Minnesota and 80 percent agreeing that crime has gotten worse over the past year.

“Minnesotans are tired of lawlessness and violent crime, and they are holding Gov. Walz accountable,” said John Hinderaker, President of Center of the American Experiment. “These numbers reflect his poor handling of the riots last year and his continued silence and inaction in the face of violent crime.”

Minnesotans trust law enforcement

While Minnesotans have lost trust in Walz, their support for law enforcement remains strong. Eighty-five percent trust the police in their local community to act in the best interests of the public, unchanged from one year ago. When given a list of options, 69 percent of respondents said they trust law enforcement to keep us safe, compared to 50 percent for Gov. Walz, 36 percent for the legislature and 32 percent for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

A strong plurality also believe a lack of support for law enforcement is the primary reason for the increase in crime. Republicans and Independents are driving support for law enforcement, with a plurality of Democrats blaming discrimination against minorities as the leading cause of crime.  

“Minnesotans trust law enforcement, not political leaders to keep us safe. Any new policies adopted during the special session should support and strengthen the police, not the opposite,” added Hinderaker.

Center of the American Experiment recently launched a campaign to support law enforcement in Minnesota at The campaign includes a petition to support the police, radio ads that began on June 15, 2021, and a billboard campaign that begins June 21, 2021.  

Other key findings from the poll:

  • When it comes to types of crime, shootings topped the list of concerns for respondents, with murders and hate crimes also at the top of the list. Democrats listed hate crimes as their top concern.
  • 58 percent of Minnesotans say they are visiting Minneapolis less frequently, with 73 percent saying it will take at least a year before they feel safer in the city.
  • 81 percent of Minnesotans are concerned about our state’s ability to recruit qualified new police officers.

The poll was conducted for American Experiment by Meeting Street Insights, a nationally recognized polling operation based in Charleston, South Carolina. Using a mix of cell phones and landline phones, the company interviewed 500 registered voters in Minnesota between June 2-6, 2021. The margin of error for a sample size of N=500 is ±4.38 percent.