Residents Split on Perception of Relations between Community and Police

A new Emerson College Polling survey in Minnesota finds residents hold a split approval of Governor Tim Walz: 39% of residents approve of the job Tim Walz is doing as Governor, while 38% disapprove. Twenty-three percent are neutral. President Biden holds a 29% job approval, while 51% disapprove of the job he is doing in office. Twenty percent are neutral.

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said: “Similar to Michigan, the governor is about ten points more favorable than the president. In Minnesota, the president’s disapproval rating is 13 points higher among men than among women, 45% of women disapprove of the job Biden is doing compared to 58% of men who say the same.”

Governor Walz’s approval improves with educational attainment. Kimball noted, “Thirty-one percent of those with high school or vocational degrees or less approve of Walz, which improves to 49% among those with college degrees, and 57% of those with postgraduate degrees.”

In a hypothetical 2024 presidential matchup between President Biden and former President Donald Trump, 40% support Biden, 38% support Trump, 14% say they support someone else, while 8% are undecided. 

Fifty-eight percent of Trump voters say they cannot think of anything Trump could do or say in the next several months that would make them support someone else for president, compared to 44% of Biden voters who say the same. Twenty-three percent of Trump supporters can think of something the former president might say or do to make them change their mind, and 21% of Biden supporters can think of something Biden might say or do to make them not support him for president. 

Residents were asked if they think race relations between the police and their community have gotten better, worse, or stayed the same in the past few years. Forty-two percent think relations have stayed the same, 42% think they have gotten worse, and 16% think they have gotten better. 

“A majority of those voting for Donald Trump in 2024, 52%, think relationships between the police and their community have gotten worse in the past few years, while the plurality of those voting for Joe Biden, 44%, think they have stayed the same,” Kimball noted. 

Midwest Study: The Minnesota general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. Final states from the study will be released tomorrow, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region this Fall. 


The Emerson College Polling Minnesota poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of 477 registered voters, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The overall sample consisted of 515 Minnesota residents, with a credibility interval of +/- 4.3 percentage points.  The data sets were weighted by gender, age, race, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=515 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=477. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Minnesota voter registration and voter turnout data by regions (MN SOS). Data was collected by contacting emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.