Poll: No bounce in support for Trump as Americans see pandemic, not crime, as top issue

NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s attempt to make civil unrest a central theme of his re-election campaign has yet to boost his political standing, as most Americans do not see crime as a major problem confronting the nation and a majority remain sympathetic to anti-racism protests, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

The Aug. 31-Sept. 1 national opinion poll showed that 40% of registered voters support Trump, a Republican, compared with 47% who said they will vote for his Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Biden’s lead is largely unchanged over the past three weeks during which both parties held conventions to nominate their candidates Trump and Biden for the presidency.

Trailing Biden in most national opinion polls since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus this year, Trump has sought to change the subject from a pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 Americans, blaming Black Lives Matters protesters for violence in the cities and accusing Biden of being weak on crime.

50 PHOTOSProtests across the U.S. over Jacob Blake shooting in WisconsinSee GalleryProtests across the U.S. over Jacob Blake shooting in WisconsinPolice try to secure businesses after protesters set fire to an office in the background late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester attempts to continue standing through a cloud of tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Protesters take cover from tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Bystanders look on as cars burn after protesters set fire to a used auto lot late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have been sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police in riot gear stand in a line against protesters next to a message spay painted on the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police attempt to push back protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester attempts to stand through a cloud of tear gas fired by police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building that was on fire during protests Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester lights a cigarette on a garbage truck that was set on fire during protests late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure businesses after protesters set fire to an office in the background late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester shouts toward police after getting injured during clashes between the two sides late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)An American flag flies above the department of corrections building, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)LOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: A Black Lives Matter protestor demonstrates at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: A Black Lives Matter protestor demonstrates at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXA protester stands in a cloud of tear gas near a burning garbage truck outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands on a car as they stop traffic Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Burned out vehicles are seen Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Many of the cars were set on fire during protests Sunday night after a police shooting in the city. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters walk past police with their arms up, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands off with police in riot gear outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a garbage truck ablaze during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police stand near a department of corrections building ablaze during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building with broken windows as others burn during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A man walks near an office on fire, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A protester stands near a burning garbage truck outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters link arms in front of a police line outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters chant outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Protesters link arms in front of a police line outside the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure the public safety building from protesters Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man under murky circumstances turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police try to secure the public safety building from protesters Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests after the police shooting of a Black man under murky circumstances turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters hold a rally on the steps of the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters hold a rally on the steps of the Kenosha County courthouse Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A woman is seen through a broken window at the Harborside Academy Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. The windows were broken after protests broke out late Sunday night following a police shooting. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A small group of Black Lives Matter protesters march near the sight of a police shooting Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Burned out vehicles are seen Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Many of the cars were set on fire during protests Sunday night after a police shooting in the city. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)A protester walks past a building ablaze during protests Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Police take cover behind armored vehicles during clashes with protesters late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)LOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXLOUISVILLE, KY- AUGUST 23: Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrate at the corner of 6th and Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin . Credit: Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPXProtesters walk past police with their arms up, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., as a building burns in the background. Protests have erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Police stand near a building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Sunday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)Up Next

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But the poll showed the majority — 78% — remain “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the coronavirus. Nearly 60% said Trump is at least partly responsible for the protracted school and business closures due to the virus, as well as for the high number of coronavirus cases in the United States. More than 6 million Americans have been infected with the virus, more people than in any other country.

By contrast, most Americans do not see crime as a major priority and do not think it is increasing in their communities, the poll showed.

Only about 8% of American adults listed crime as a top priority for the country, compared with 30% who said it was the economy or jobs, and 16% who said it was the healthcare system.

And 62% of registered voters, including 62% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans, said crime was not increasing in their communities

According to the poll, 53% of American adults said they remain sympathetic to people out protesting against racial inequality, nearly unchanged from 52% in a similar poll that ran in late July.

While support for the protesters has declined overall since the immediate aftermath of the police killing in May of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked a national conversation on race, the poll showed more than half of suburban Americans and more than half of undecided registered voters are still sympathetic to them.

Trump and his Republican allies tried to re-focus the country’s attention on crime in America during their convention last week, as new confrontations erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a crucial battleground that will help decide November’s election.

Trump also has attempted to stoke fears, especially among suburban white voters, about crime-ridden cities and falsely asserted that Biden would “defund the police.” Biden has rejected that position.

“No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” Trump said last week at the Republican national convention.

Biden has pushed back, accusing Trump of stirring up racist fears in the U.S. in hopes of reviving his campaign.

“The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now he’s trying to scare America,” Biden said in Pittsburgh this week.

The Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,335 American adults, including 551 Democrats and 523 Republicans. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 3 to 5 percentage points.

(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Leslie Adler)

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