Ill Democratic Omens in Education Polls


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin visits Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va., Jan. 20.


Scott P. Yates/Associated Press

American voters have lengthy trusted Democrats greater than Republicans on the difficulty of schooling. That’s altering—and the proof is in two new polls, one from a academics union and one from a Democratic group.

The American Federation of Teachers commissioned a survey of doubtless voters in battleground states and located that 39% of respondents had extra confidence in Republicans to take care of schooling points vs. 38% for Democrats. Respondents mentioned the No. 1 downside with public colleges is that “education has become too politicized.”

AFT President

Randi Weingarten

has repeatedly blamed Republicans for politicizing lecture rooms. But respondents had been likelier to say Democrats are “more responsible for politicizing education (and making education too much a part of the culture war)” than Republicans, 33% to twenty-eight%. More had been dissatisfied than glad with “the amount of say that parents have in what their children are taught.” Voters had been additionally considerably likelier to have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in mum or dad organizations (56%) and schoolteachers (62%) than academics unions (44%). Ms. Weingarten nonetheless tweeted the ballot and asserted that “extremist politicians are trying to drive a wedge between parents and teachers” whereas her union is “focused on investing in public schools and the essential knowledge and skills students need.”

The different ballot was carried out in battleground congressional districts by Democrats for Education Reform. It discovered that Republicans had been forward on schooling by 3 factors general (47% to 44%), by 9 factors with mother and father, and by 10 factors with minority voters.

These outcomes characterize a seismic shift in assist. As the group’s polling memo famous, “this represents a steep drop-off from before the pandemic, when Democrats enjoyed a double-digit advantage on education.” A 2017 Gallup ballot put Democrats up by 19 factors on schooling.

Signals of the shift got here in November, when Virginia elected Gov.

Glenn Youngkin.

He beat former Gov.

Terry McAuliffe

by 2 factors. Exit polls confirmed schooling was crucial challenge for voters, after jobs and the economic system, and Mr. Youngkin’s margin was 6 factors amongst those that rated schooling their high precedence.

Republicans assist Democrats once they hold quiet on schooling, as lots of them have for years. But now Democrats are in a bind on instructional freedom. Mr. McAuliffe hewed to his antiparent rhetoric whereas Ms. Weingarten stumped for him. Republicans can be sensible to observe Mr. Youngkin’s lead and make themselves the mother and father’ celebration.

Mr. DeAngelis is a senior fellow on the American Federation for Children.

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Appeared within the July 23, 2022, print version.