Reuters/Ipsos Poll: Civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s killing

A majority of Americans support peaceful protests and demonstrations, many are sympathetic to demonstrators

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, June 2, 2020 –  The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey finds that a majority of Americans support the peaceful protests and demonstrations that have taken place across the nation following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. A large majority report that peaceful demonstrations are an appropriate response to Floyd’s death, but a majority do not support violent protests and unrest as a response to the killing of an unarmed man. More than half of Americans are not satisfied with President Trump’s response to the demonstrations.

Three-quarters of Americans report they support the peaceful protests and demonstrations as a response to George Floyd’s death (73%).

  • A majority of Democrats (86%) and Republicans (59%) report supporting the peaceful demonstrations, but Democrats are much more likely to do so.
  • Democrats (62%) are also more likely than Republicans (22%) to say they strongly support the peaceful protests and demonstrations.


Four in five Americans (82%) report that peaceful protests are an appropriate response to the killing of an unarmed man by police, while 22% say that violence and unrest is an appropriate response.

  • A similar number of Americans (79%) say that the property damage caused by some demonstrators undermines the original intent of the protest’s call for justice in George Floyd’s death.
    • Republicans (83%) and Democrats (77%) agree that  property damage ultimately undermines the cause of the demonstrators.
  • Two-thirds of Americans report they are sympathetic to those who are protesting (64%).


Just 33% of Americans approve of how Donald Trump is handling the protests and demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

  • While Trump’s Republican base continues to approve of his actions (67% approve), independents (28%) and Democrats are much more critical (9%).
  • Just two in five Americans believe that the police are doing a job of handling the protests (43%).

Trump approval

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 1-2, 2020, on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 457 Democrats, 373 Republicans, and 122 Independents.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,004, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 5.8 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 10.1 percentage points for independents.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5,000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs