Apr 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

55% of Republicans agree with Chauvin guilty verdict, poll says

Photo of a masked protester holding up a sign bearing a painted representation of George Floyd

Photo: Emilie Richardson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans largely approve of the verdict in Tuesday's murder trial of Derek Chauvin, with 71% agreeing the ex-police officer was guilty, according to a USA Today/Ipsos snap poll published Wednesday.

Why it matters: "With most Americans saying they have followed the trial at least somewhat, the verdict presents a rare moment when majorities of both Democrats and Republicans believe the outcome is correct," Ipsos said in a release.

The poll, conducted between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, represents a snapshot of the nation's reaction to the three-week trial's outcome.

By the numbers: The majority of participants who identified as Democrats (85%) or independents (71%) strongly agreed with the verdict.

  • 55% of Republicans also concurred that Chauvin was guilty.
  • 40% of overall survey participants said George Floyd's death was murder.
  • 32% viewed the circumstances around Floyd's death as negligence on Chauvin's part.
  • 5% said Chauvin did nothing wrong, describing his actions as an accident.

The political divide was more apparent when respondents were asked about law and order.

  • 62% of all participants said they would accept the verdict and planned no further action.
  • 73% of Republicans believe "law and order is the most important thing to ensure, even if it means limiting peaceful protests." 43% of Democrats agreed.

What to watch: "With continued division between Republicans and Democrats on emphasizing law and order versus the right to protest, this is likely to continue being a flash point in American society," Ipsos stated.

Methodology: Ipsos surveyed 1,000 American adults online from all states from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 20 following announcement of Chauvin's verdict. The sample included 262 Republicans, 422 Democrats, and 316 independents. The poll has a credibility interval of +/- 3.5 percentage points for all respondents.

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