For months, protests of police brutality and state-sanctioned racism against Black Americans have persisted across the nation. Though over 90 percent of these protests have been and continue to be peaceful, President Donald Trump and his allies have amplified those that resulted in property damage or death, generalizing protesters across the nation as violent, lawless anarchists.
Trump has sought to use the protests as a chance to paint Trump as the "law and order" candidate, with his administration deploying unidentified armed soldiers who detained protesters without cause, transporting them in unmarked vehicles to undisclosed locations.
Meanwhile, the campaign has maligned Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden as an anti-law enforcement who encourages riots, though Biden has unequivocally denied violence and property destruction on multiple occasions.
But findings from a new poll indicate that the tactic isn't working.
A new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found Biden not only leading by seven points nationally among likely voters, but he also bests Trump on race, policing, and law and order—all areas in which the Trump campaign has tried to paint him as weak.
Fifty-eight percent of voters said that Biden would do a better job at curbing violence, while 57 percent say that Biden would be better at handling civil unrest. Meanwhile, over a quarter of the 1,604 people surveyed said that Trump was most responsible for the unrest he currently rails against.
If these findings hold, it could throw a wrench in the Trump campaign's 2020 strategy.
Donald Trump is going to Kenosha to keep screaming LAW & ORDER
As Joe Biden said yesterday:
Donald Trump keeps telling us if he was president you'd feel safe
Well, Donald Trump is president, whether he knows it or not
And he can't stop the violence because he's fomented it
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 1, 2020
A vote for @JoeBiden is a vote for REAL LAW & ORDER. Pass it on.
— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) August 31, 2020
Correct, objective framing:
Biden condemns all forms of violence while Trump excuses it and praises vigilante extremists as "patriots" during unhinged tweetstorm.
Be objective. That's what happened.
Trump calls for "law & order" as candidates spar over violence
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 31, 2020
During the Obama/Biden administration, crime was down 15%.
Now, under Trump, murders are up by 16%.
It's clear who is the actual Law & Order candidate.#Vote pic.twitter.com/GVycNMTkvK
— Paul Ybarra (@ybarrap) September 2, 2020
LAW & ORDER!
BIDEN 2020!#TrumpTerrorism https://t.co/RaoLgYo0cv
— John Dodge (@Sanityreturn2us) September 2, 2020
Trump and his allies repeatedly claim the current unrest is a taste of what would happen in Joe Biden's America, prompting others to point out the fact that it's happening under Donald Trump.
The violence we're seeing right now, the pain we're seeing right now, this is Donald Trump's America—not Joe Biden's America.
And oftentimes it has been fanned and encouraged by Trump himself. Don't buy into his fearmongering.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 3, 2020
1. Trump incites violence
2. Trump radicals commit violence
3. Trump advisors say violence helps their campaign
4. Trump surrogates refuse to condemn violence
5. “Joe Biden's America" https://t.co/OGaH6Ww6bl
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) August 30, 2020
“This is Joe Biden's America"
Why is the free trial for Joe Biden's America just footage of Trump's America?
— Brent Terhune (@BrentTerhune) August 29, 2020
Tonight, when Donald Trump says “you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America," take off your mask and look around.
Then ask yourself if you feel safe in Donald Trump's America.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) August 27, 2020