Statewide
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September 23, 2020
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Bill Shapard

Oklahoma likely voters don't want to defund the police, or even cut police budgets

As opposed to Minneapolis, there is no rush to defund the police departments, or even cut their budgets in Oklahoma, according to the latest Quarterly poll.

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With nearly half of all likely voters in the state 'strongly opposed' to providing less monies to police departments and directing the funds toward more community-based services, there was 63.2 percent in combined opposition to the idea.

When asked about defunding the police completely, 86.6 percent opposed it with a whooping 76.4 percent 'strongly opposed.' Previously release results showed that a large majority of likely voters had a favorable view of the their local police department.

[box][QUESTION] Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE a plan that PROVIDES LESS MONIES to police and directs those funds toward social justice programs, social services or youth services?

1. Strongly support13.6%2. Somewhat support16.5COMBINED SUPPORT30.13. Neutral/Don't know/No opinion6.84. Somewhat oppose14.25. Strongly oppose49.0COMBINED OPPOSE63.2

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Republicans were more likely to oppose the idea of defunding or even cutting police budgets than Democrats or Independents. Among Democrats, 79.3 percent opposed defunding the police, but only 46.2 percent opposed cutting police budgets. Forty percent of Democrats supported the idea of cutting police budgets to support more community-based services.

Among Independents, the percentage of support for cutting police budgets was higher with 73.1 percent in combined support, but keep in mind a large majority of Independents are below the age of 45 and are more open to experimentation.

A large majority of Democrats do not believe in completely defunding the police, with 79.3 percent opposing that idea. Among Independents, it was 76.9 percent.

Another large majority, 71.6 percent of likely voters, agreed that cutting police budgets would lead to more crime. While 90 percent of Republicans agreed with this statement, only 58 percent of Democrats did and 32.7 percent, or nearly one-in-three Democrats disagreed that cutting police budgets would lead to more crime.

[box][QUESTION] Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that cutting police budgets will lead to more crime.

1. Strongly agree56.0%2. Somewhat agree15.6COMBINED AGREE71.63. Neutral/Don't know/No opinion7.04. Somewhat disagree12.15. Strongly disagree9.3COMBINED DISAGREE21.4

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Among Biden voters, 59 percent supported cutting police budgets and 43.3 percent disagreed that cutting those budgets would lead to increased crime.

Young voters, those under the age of 45, were most likely to support taking monies from police budgets to fund more social justice programs or social services. Majorities of every age group, however, opposed defunding the police completely.

There was very little observed differences between the views of men and women on this set of questions.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from August 13-31, 2020 with 379 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus SoonerPoll's proprietary online panel. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±5.03 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.