Survey: Most voters disapprove of Portland protests
Most Oregon and tri-county voters have negative views of the ongoing political protests in Portland, according to a survey released by DHM Research on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Many if not most voters in the state also disapprove of how President Donald Trump, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have responded to them, the survey found.
And the survey found others are almost evenly split about how Portland Police have responded to the protests, with a plurality saying they have not used enough force.
"While there have been protests across the state, nowhere have they been as sustained and attention-grabbing as Portland," said the report of the survey posted on the DHM research website on Sept. 10. "For over 100 days protesters and Portland police officers have engaged and at times their interactions have turned violent. Although protests have been mostly confined to small areas of Portland, the images of the nightly events have had a statewide and national audience
According to the survey, 66% of Oregon voters disapprove of the ongoing protests in Portland and few believe that they have been helpful to Black Portlanders, race relations, or efforts to make police reforms. Only 31% approve of them.
That includes 61% of voters in the tri-county area, which is the most liberal part of the state. There, only 36% approve of them.
A majority of Oregonian voters — 56% — believe that the protests in Portland have been mostly violent. At the same time, just 29% feel that the Portland police have used too much force.
In fact, a majority of Oregon voters believe that "riot" is a more accurate description than "protest" of the ongoing events in Portland by a margin of 55% to 37%.
Nearly six in 10 Oregon voters disapprove of how Trump (59%), Brown (57%), and Wheeler (58%) are responding to the ongoing protests. There are demographic differences, however, with a majority of Republicans supporting Trump and a majority of Democrats supporting Brown.
According to the survey, support for Wheeler's response to the protests is higher among voters of color (41%) than it is among white voters (28%). It is also somewhat higher among voters with a college degree (38%) than it is with those with less education (23-27%). The differences of opinion about Wheeler by area of the state are relatively small. Approval is greater in the Willamette Valley (36%) and the Portland metro area (32%) than the rest of the state (24%).
Overall, 46% of Oregon voters approve of the Portland police response to the ongoing protests and 45% disapprove. Metro area voters' assessment of the are similar, with 46% approving of their response and 49% disapproving.
Oregon voters are more likely to believe that police in Portland have not used enough force (42%) in their response to protesters than believe that they have used too much force (29%). Only 18% think they have used the right amount, while 11% are unsure.
There are large differences in approval by race and age, however. Fifty percent of white voters approve of the response of the Portland Police compared to 26% of voters of color. Approval steadily increases by age, too.
The survey also found 56% believe the state is on the wrong track, while just 31% think it is headed in the right direction.
The survey found few demographic differences, with Black Portlanders and young voters approving of the protests. Statewide, voters of color are split in their assessments, with 49% approving and 46% disapproving, the survey found.
The online survey of 502 Oregon voters was conducted from Sept. 3 to 8 and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. DHM Research said the sample size is sufficient to assess Oregonians' opinions generally and to review findings by multiple subgroups.
You can find the results and more information here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.