The Corner

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Latest Poll On Race Preferences


This week yet another poll has been released showing that racial preferences in college admissions are very unpopular with all Americans, regardless of race. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion polled 1,003 U.S. adults across the country from January 27 to 31, asking them, “Do you ‘definitely favor,’ ‘favor,’ ‘oppose’ or ‘definitively oppose’ using a student’s race as a factor when schools decide which students to admit to a college or a university?”

Only 3 percent and 17 percent, respectively, “definitely favored” or “favored” such preferences. Preferences were “opposed” by 55 percent of the respondents, and “definitely opposed” by 25 percent. That is, 80 percent of all Americans were against them.

It is especially noteworthy that preferences were opposed by all three ethnic groups identified in the study. Thus, not only 83 percent of whites but also 78 percent of Latinos and 60 percent of African Americans either “opposed” or “definitely opposed” preferences.

Respondents were also asked whether various other factors should be considered in admissions, including grades, test scores, teacher recommendations, and so forth. No surprises here.

It is, on the other hand, interesting that whites were more likely to “oppose” or “definitely oppose” preferences to those whose parents or grandparents went to the school (although such preferences were unpopular with all groups). Even more surprising were the answers regarding preferences on the basis of a student’s parents being “rich or famous.” High-income white Republican college graduates were more likely to be against such preferences than lower-income black Democrat non–college graduates (although, again, the majority of all groups was against them). One explanation: Perhaps some individuals that favored using these considerations as a factor wanted them used as a NEGATIVE factor.