Show an ad over header. AMP

SurveyMonkey poll: Suburbs and the safety wedge

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 35,732 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2020 with ±1% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

White suburbanites who feel "very safe" in their communities are more likely to favor Joe Biden, while those who feel only somewhat safe move toward President Trump, according to new SurveyMonkey polling for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings help illuminate how Trump is using safety as a wedge issue ahead of the election — and why he's fanning fears of violent protests bleeding into the suburbs.


  • "What jumps out at me from the data is a clear connection between anxiety around security and support for Trump over Biden," says SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen.

By the numbers: White suburban women who feel "very safe" prefer Biden by about a 20 percentage-point margin, the survey finds. Biden's lead disappears among white suburban women who say they feel only "somewhat safe."

  • The very small subgroup of white suburban women who say they feel not so safe or not at all safe prefer Trump by 10 percentage points.
  • Trump leads with white suburban men across each of those groups — but the margin jumps dramatically, from a five-point lead over Biden with those men who feel "very safe" in their communities, to a 24-point lead for Trump with those who feel only "somewhat safe."

Between the lines: A closer examination of the data suggests that Trump's fear approach may have an impact only in truly close swing-state suburbs. And it's more effective in shoring up sagging Republican support than in converting Democrats or independents or convincing either to stay home.

  • That's partly because wide majorities ofAmericans across gender, racial, ethnic and metropolitan lines say they do feel safe in their communities.
  • 55% of suburban white women say they feel "very safe," while 39% say they feel "somewhat safe." Just 5% combined say they feel "not so safe" or "not safe at all."
  • White suburban men feel even safer than white suburban women.
Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 35,732 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2020 with ±1% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Be smart: Black Americans feel less safe than white Americans, whether in urban, suburban or rural areas, the survey finds.

  • Nearly one in 10 Black suburbanites says they don't feel safe in their community; that roughly doubled for Black Americans living in cities or rural areas.

The big picture: The survey finds that public support for protests over the killing of George Floyd has cooled since mid-June across racial and ethnic lines. The trend is about the same in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as nationally.

  • Support for those demonstrations dropped by between eight and 10 percentage points each across all major racial and ethnic groups.
  • Black Americans remain the most supportive, at 78%. White Americans are the least supportive, at 46%. Republican support dropped to 17%, while 86% of Democrats still support the protests.
  • Support for the Black Lives Matter and "defund the police" movements also dropped since the start of the summer.
  • 57% of white suburban women hold favorable views of Black Lives Matter. But they are split between those who feel secure in their communities (63%) and those who don’t feel safe (43%).

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted August 31 - September 6, 2020 among a national sample of 35,732 adults in the U.S., of whom 14,043 are white and live in suburbs. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.

  • The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points for the national sample. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

What to expect out of Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.

Keep reading... Show less

Charles Koch says he "screwed up by being partisan" in political spending

In his first on-camera interview in four years, Charles Koch told "Axios on HBO" he's disillusioned with the results of his network's massive political spending, but is optimistic about what he believes will be a less divisive strategy.

Why it matters: Koch — chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, which Forbes yesterday designated as America's largest private company — has been the left's favorite face of big-spending political action.

Keep reading... Show less

What overwhelmed hospitals look like in the COVID era

Utah doctors are doing what they say is the equivalent of rationing care. Intensive care beds in Minnesota are nearly full. And the country overall continues to break hospitalization records — all as millions of Americans travel to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Why it matters: America's health care workers are exhausted, and the sickest coronavirus patients aren't receiving the kind of care that could make the difference between living and dying.

Keep reading... Show less

Southwest CEO: "You should fly" despite CDC warnings against travel during coronavirus

The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."
Keep reading... Show less

DCCC chair candidate: Democrats need change "overnight" after surprise losses in House races

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who's running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told "Axios on HBO" that the DCCC needs to change "overnight" and his colleagues need to be more "culturally competent" if they want to be successful in the next election.

Why it matters: House Democrats are confronting what went wrong and what their party needs to change after they failed to expand their House majority and President Trump expanded his support among Latino voters.

Keep reading... Show less

Apple's new Mac chip turns heads and promises bigger changes

For now, Apple's new M1 chip — fast, power-smart, and literally cool — is just a major hardware upgrade that's winning rave reviews.

But down the road, the M1 will pave the way for new Apple devices that could bridge the divide between Mac and iPhone/iPad computing and transform the devices we use every day.

Keep reading... Show less

Space is not just for billionaires

The space industry is outgrowing the billionaires who made it famous.

Why it matters: Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson helped put the space industry on the map, but today, a significant amount of growth seen in the industry is propelled by smaller companies.

Keep reading... Show less

Axios-Ipsos poll: COVID Thanksgiving

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Six in 10 Americans are dialing back this year's Thanksgiving plans because of the pandemic — cutting guest lists, canceling travel or scrapping Turkey Day altogether — in the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: This greater willingness to turn inward and exercise caution around the holidays comes amid signs of increased trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a growing confidence there will soon be a safe and effective vaccine available in the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories