WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Navigator Research released new polling showing President Biden and Democrats are more trusted than Republicans on most issues concerning education, including making decisions about school mask requirements, dealing with student loan debt, making sure public schools get adequate funding, and helping teachers feel valued for the important job they do. However, the polling also showed some warning signs for Democrats, with Republicans holding a narrow advantage when it comes to making sure parents have input over what is being taught in classrooms while the parties are even when it comes to making sure public schools teach the things children need to learn in order to succeed.
“Democrats continue to have significant advantages on education policy and are more trusted on investing in our students, teachers, and keeping schools safe. That’s not to say there aren’t warning signs—many Americans see ‘critical race theory’ as a concern, which Republicans cynically exploited in the Virginia gubernatorial election,” said Bryan Bennett, Senior Director of Polling and Analytics at the Hub Project. “But this data offers a roadmap for Democrats on how to proactively make education part of their messaging and improve their standing in Americans’ minds when it comes to education.”
Overall, Americans do not have strong concerns about Democrats’ handling of education issues, but a top concern—largely driven by responses from Republicans—is critical race theory. The frame that “Democrats are promoting critical race theory which makes students feel guilty for being white” was cited as very concerning by just 42 percent of Americans and only 39 percent of Independents, but 72 percent of Republicans.
Democrats still hold a number of messaging advantages on education, with messaging focused on the party’s historical support for expanding and protecting access to education, commitment to America’s teachers, and commitment to making sure schools are safe amidst the coronavirus pandemic making respondents more favorable toward Democrats handling of education.
About Navigator Research
The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
About the Study
This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted December 3-6, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 99 Hispanic voters, 99 African American voters, 99 independents without a partisan lean, and 70 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percent.