Voters want to see immigrants with criminal records deported, want to see rioters and looters arrested and prosecuted, and want to see stiffer border security, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll that suggests there’s ample room for President Trump to sell his law-and-order message — if he can break through questions about his character.
More than two-thirds hold a favorable opinion of police, compared to 51% for the Black Lives Matter movement. Antifa, the left-wing “ant-fascist” movement, has just 14% approval.
Voters also expect a second wave of coronavirus cases, but most still want their states to try to remain open anyway, rather than return to the crippling lockdowns of the spring, the poll found.
“Trump wins the issue vote, Biden wins on character,” the pollsters said, summing up the results of the survey of 1,314 registered voters, taken Sept. 22-24.
On the border, 72% said it needs to be tightened, versus just 28% who want it loosened. And 73% say illegal immigrants who commit crimes should be deported, versus 27% who think they should stay.
Four in five voters say those committing mayhem during protests should face arrest and prosecution, while 20% want they “released without much penalty.”
And just 18% think taxes should be raised, compared to 40% who want them lowered.
Overall, the mood of the country is improving. Most still think the U.S. is on the wrong track, but the gap is narrowing, as is pessimism over the economy.
Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden is winning the head-to-head match-up with Mr. Trump, 47-45, among likely voters, and holds a lead among the 9% undecided, too.
A larger share of Biden backers, though, are voting against Mr. Trump, rather than enthused about Mr. Biden.