BALTIMORE — We’re less than halfway through the year, and one thing is becoming disturbingly clear: 2020 will likely go down as one of the most tumultuous years in American history. As protests over the tragic death of George Floyd continue, a survey by StudyFinds.org shows that nearly seven in ten Americans are battling another surge of anxiety. Perhaps not surprisingly, about the same number agree that the racial divide in 2020 has split even further, adding more pressure to a country that is seemingly bursting at the seams.
The survey of 302 American adults finds that one in four people (26%) say their anxiety is “much higher” in the past month, while 43% are also feeling an uptick in nervousness, but to a lesser degree. Of course, in addition to the Floyd protests, fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, and tensions were already reaching boiling point following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. Still, nearly three in ten respondents rate their anxiety as unchanged.
Meanwhile, when asked about the racial divide in America, 68% agree it’s getting worse, while 23% feel it’s unchanged despite the recent events. Interestingly, nearly one in ten say things are improving.
So how do Americans feel President Donald Trump is responding to all of the challenges he’s facing in 2020? It appears that many aren’t thrilled with his performance thus far.
Though 14% of respondents think Trump is doing a “great job” and 11% rate his efforts as a “good job,” the numbers are significantly higher for those who feel the opposite. Forty-percent say the president is doing a “very bad job,” while another 12% feel he’s doing a “bad job.” The jury is still out for 23% of respondents.
As for how Americans feel directly in response to George Floyd’s death and the arrest former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter, most appear in agreement. Nearly three in four (73%) say Chauvin will be convicted of murder. When asked about all four officers who involved in Floyd’s arrest and subsequently fired, 52% say they should also be charged with murder. That said, 37% aren’t leaving it out of the question, but are waiting for more details to emerge to be sure either way. Just 10% don’t believe the other officers should face murder charges.
Finally, the survey asked participants whether or not they trust the police. Almost one in five — 18% of respondents — have no trust in their local law enforcement. The other 82% give their police department a vote of confidence, but only a quarter have “complete” faith in officers. Fifty-seven percent trust police “somewhat,” according to the results.
Of course, as the days wear on and protests continue, all it takes is one or two powder-keg moments to push the needle in another direction for these questions. On the other hand, a peaceful, positive, and palpable step forward would bring a much-needed move towards healing. After all, this is supposed to be the United States of America, isn’t it?
The survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey.