Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

Some politicians and activists have called for defunding the FBI, while others have called for defunding the police. It turns out neither of these resonates much with the public.

Defunding the FBI is not a popular political stance with voters. Few would be more likely to back a candidate who supported this.

Some Republicans have called for defunding the FBI, but it’s not a candidate position that finds favor with most rank-and-file Republicans. Republicans would be less likely to back a candidate who called for defunding. Just a third would be more likely to vote for a political candidate who called for doing that. 

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However, looking across the parties, Republicans are relatively more likely to back such a candidate than are Democrats or independents.

And that may be related to Republicans giving the FBI very low marks overall today.

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For context, defunding the police became a rallying cry among some Democrats in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

CBS News last polled on the topic in the spring. We asked Americans what they would like to see done to prevent crime — less funding for the police ranked near the bottom of the list.

Just 9% picked it as a way to help prevent violent crime. The percentage who picked “more funding for police” was more than five times that number. Among Democrats, less funding for police ranked near the bottom, as well. By a three-to-one margin, Democrats said “more funding for police” would help prevent crime than “less funding for police.” 

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Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto contributed to this report.


The CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,126 registered voters interviewed between August 24-26, 2022. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.4 points.

The CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,062 U.S. adult residents interviewed between April  5-8, 2022. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.8 points.

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