• Polling

More Than Three in Four Americans Oppose Banning Books in Public Schools

Thursday, March 3, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Nearly three in five are hearing about state and local officials trying to ban books from public schools.
  • Three in four oppose banning books, including an overwhelming majority of parents.
  • A range of criticisms of book banning raise concerns for more than four in five Americans as well as four in five parents.

Nearly Three in Five Americans Report Hearing About Officials Attempting to Ban Books from Public Schools

The groups most likely to have heard about book banning attempts are Democrats (63%), white suburban dads (62%), and suburban dads of color (64%).

Strong Majorities Oppose Banning Books – Famous Book Names Are More Powerful Than Names

Bipartisan majorities oppose banning certain books and intensity of opposition is high: 62% strongly oppose banning certain books.

  • Among parents, when listing titles like To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984, 74% oppose banning those books (61% strongly).

A Range of Criticisms – Especially Censorship of History and Preventing Students from Succeeding – Are “Very Concerning”

Four in five parents find each criticism concerning, with messaging about censoring American history, violating free speech that service men and women have sacrificed to protect, dooming America to repeat history, and putting children at risk as the most concerning.

About The Study

This release features findings from national online surveys of 1,395 registered voters conducted February 17-22, 2022. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 75 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org