Newly released polling data shows that Black Lives Matter has alienated much of the public over the last year. The polling data from Civiqs shows that after gaining the support of a majority of Americans last June BLM has subsequently seen a steady fall in public support. Opposition to the group has also solidified, with large numbers of Americans who previously claimed to be undecided now willing to conclusively say that they oppose the group.
BLM loses majority support
The poll from Civiqs covers the period between April 2017 and April 2021. Respondents were asked whether they supported or opposed BLM, though before 2020 a significant percentage stated that they neither supported or opposed the movement.
Before the death of George Floyd the data shows a steady three year rise in support for BLM and a corresponding drop in opposition, though there were no extreme shifts in public opinion over this time.
The response to the death of George Floyd caused a very dramatic shift, according to the polling data. By June 2020 only 28% of respondents were willing to state that they opposed BLM.
The immense social pressure and fear which drove public support for the movement at this time is also reflected in a sharp drop in the numbers of those who neither supported or opposed. This category of respondent appears to have evaporated almost overnight in early June.
Even Republicans generally became hesitant about expressing opposition to BLM at this point; immediately after the death of Floyd only 58% of Republicans polled were willing to say that they opposed the group.
At this time last year, just before the Summer months, BLM had an iron grip on public opinion and overt opposition was dwindling rapidly. Throughout the course of that Summer BLM then proceeded to lose most of what it had gained.
Riots alienated white Americans
By September 2020 Americans were once again willing to condemn BLM; a predictable result of the riots which consumed almost every major city through the intervening months.
What is particularly interesting about the data, however, is the fact that the “neither support nor oppose” percentage has seen no changes indicating a return to April 2020 numbers.
The lasting result of the Summer riots seems to be not a solidification of BLM support but a significantly entrenched polarization of Americans on the issue.
Polling data does show that BLM has remained overwhelmingly popular among black and Hispanic Americans; these results have remained relatively constant since the death of Floyd.
The fluctuation is driven almost entirely by the changing opinions of white Americans. White support reached a high of 44% in the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd before falling after the riots.
The Civqis data indicates that white Americans and Republicans, after initially fearing to oppose BLM, have felt increasingly secure in expressing their opposition.