WASHINGTON — Young people across racial and ethnic lines are more likely to say they trust Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump to handle instances of police violence against African-Americans. But young whites are more likely to say they trust Trump to handle violence committed against the police.
That’s according to a new GenForward poll of young adults age 18 to 30. The poll is conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.
The poll also suggests most young adults think requiring police to wear body cameras would help reduce violence by police.
Things to know from the poll about young Americans’ views about police and the Black Lives Matter movement:
POLICE VIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST THE POLICE
About 6 in 10 young adults overall say violence by the police and violence against the police both are very or extremely serious problems in the United States. But views vary among those of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Ninety-one percent of young African-Americans, 71 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of Asian-Americans and just 43 percent of whites call killings of black people by police a very or extremely serious problem.
Among young whites, more call violence against the police a serious problem, 63 percent. In addition, 60 percent of young blacks, 65 percent of young Hispanics, and 54 percent of young Asian-Americans consider violence against police an extremely or very serious problem.
Thinking specifically about recent killings of black people by the police, 72 percent of African-American young people, 61 percent of Asian-Americans, 51 percent of Latinos and 40 percent of whites say they consider them part of a larger pattern, rather than isolated.
WHAT WOULD HELP
Seven in 10 young Americans say they think requiring on-duty police officers to wear body cameras would help reduce violence by police against civilians. But young African-Americans are somewhat less enthusiastic about the idea, with just over 6 in 10 saying that it would be effective.
On the other hand, both African-Americans (68 percent) and Latinos (66 percent) are more likely than whites (51 percent) to say requiring a special prosecutor to investigate cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians would be effective at preventing such deaths. Overall, 57 percent of young people think so.
Fifty-six percent of all young people say setting stricter criteria for police use of deadly force would be effective at reducing instances of violence by the police, including 68 percent of blacks and Hispanics, 61 percent of Asian-Americans and just 48 percent of whites.
WHO DO YOU TRUST?
Young Americans across racial and ethnic groups are more likely to trust Clinton than Trump to handle police violence against African-Americans. That’s by a 61 percent-to-5 percent margin among young blacks, 58 percent to 6 percent among young Latinos, 56 percent to 8 percent among Asian-Americans, and 44 percent to 20 percent among young whites.
About a quarter in each group don’t trust either candidate to handle the issue well.
But among young whites, more trust Trump than Clinton to handle attacks against the police, 45 percent to 28 percent. Young African-Americans (54 percent to 12 percent), Latinos (45 percent to 15 percent) and Asian-Americans (45 percent to 20 percent) are more likely to trust Clinton than Trump on this.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Majorities of young people across racial and ethnic lines say they support the Black Lives Matter movement, including 85 percent of African-Americans, 67 percent of Asian-Americans, 62 percent of Latinos and 51 percent of whites. That’s an increase in support among young whites over the past few months, after 41 percent of them said they supported Black Lives Matter in June.
But among young whites in particular, and among significant minorities of young Asian-Americans and Latinos, there are feelings that the rhetoric of the movement encourages violence against the police — more than 6 in 10 whites, more than 4 in 10 Asian-Americans and Latinos and just 2 in 10 African-Americans think the movement’s rhetoric encourages violence against the police.
The poll of 1,958 adults age 18-30 was conducted Aug. 1-14 using a sample drawn from the probability-based GenForward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
The survey was paid for by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago, using grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.
GenForward polls: http://www.genforwardsurvey.com/
Black Youth Project: http://blackyouthproject.com/