Voters in battleground states trust Republicans more than Dems on education: poll

Voters in four battleground states said they trust Republicans to do a better job than Democrats in education, according to a new poll released by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).

The poll focused on four battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina — asking voters who they trust to ensure “public schools are preparing students for success after high school by ensuring they are teaching students to read and do math well.”

In Arizona, 34 percent went with Republicans on the issue, while 32 percent went for Democrats. Nevada was 35 percent Republican to 33 percent Democrat. 

In Georgia, there was a tie at 35 percent for both parties, while North Carolina saw the biggest gap with 40 percent trusting Republicans and 32 percent trusting Democrats. 

Overall, the states combined show 36 percent trust Republicans and 33 percent trust Democrats with education. 

“The crisis in education has mounted into one voters simply cannot ignore,” said DFER CEO Jorge Elorza. “Voters — especially parents — want to see more choices for their children. Republicans are capitalizing on this. Embracing public school choice isn’t just the right thing today, but it will help Democrats reconnect with frustrated voters and families who know that more of the same won’t fix our public education system.”

When it came to where there needs to be an improvement in education, the states combined showed the top issue was more access to after-school and summer programs at 44 percent. 

The poll also found Republican school choice programs were not as popular as expansions to public school options such as charter schools. Expanding public school options has 68 percent support overall, while Republican school choice policies only had 32 percent support.

The poll is another troubling sign for Democrats who historically had a stronghold on the issue of education among voters. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats have gone on defense, while Republicans have stepped up their focus on education, specifically focusing on “parental rights.”

However, in other areas such as women having access to health care, dealing with climate change and reducing gun violence, the battleground states said they trusted Democrats more than Republicans. 

The poll was conducted by Emerson College Polling in the four states from July 17-19. They surveyed 1,200 individuals with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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