Such caution from party leadership suggests that while it is popular in the streets, defunding the police is unlikely to have staying power at the federal level. Rather, it is more likely to go the way of other radical proposals like the abolition of ICE, which was quietly memory-holed when polling revealed its electoral unviability.
Police abolition’s unpopularity is bipartisan: The YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of Americans favor cutting police funds, including 16 percent of Democrats, 14 percent of Clinton voters, and only 33 percent of black people. Data from the General Social Survey stretching back to 1984 find that fewer than 20 percent of white, black, and Hispanic respondents believe that police should be given less money, never mind defunded altogether.
That’s consonant with broad support for police generally. As of 2017, 9 in 10 black, white, and Hispanic Americans opposed reducing the number of police officers in their community. More recent data indicate that police continue to maintain majority support among Americans and are widely considered among the most trustworthy institutions in the country.