In 2020, the “Defund the Police” movement reached its peak, with radical leftists and their allied progressive groups calling for aggressive cuts in police funding. Now, a year later, as violent crime rises, not just in cities, but in suburban areas, fewer Americans believe police should be defunded, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.
Today, only 15% believe that spending on police should be decreased “a little” or “a lot.” That compares to 26% who said the same in 2020. Forty-seven percent believe funding should be increased “a lot” or “a little,” compared to just 31% who said the same in 2020.
This shift can be seen across demographic lines. Only 23% of black adults believe police funding should be decreased, compared to 42% in 2020. Thirty-eight percent of black adults believe police funding should be increased, compared to just 22% in 2020. Only 25% of Democrats believe police funding should be cut, compared to 41% in 2020. Thirty-four percent of Democrats believe police funding should be increased, compared to just 19% in 2020. Most adults older than 50 years old (59%) now believe police funding should be increased, compared to just 37% in 2020.
Democrats mistakenly believed cries to “defund the police” from groups like NARAL and far-left progressives would resonate with voters. The opposite occurred. In 2020, some Republicans failed to capitalize on this issue by being too harsh with their rhetoric. Today, Republicans have an opportunity to take the lead on community safety but only with a reasonable tone and evident concern for the safety of all neighborhoods.