POLL: Majority of Americans oppose Affirmative Action policies

A majority of likely voters oppose race-based admission standards in higher education.

The poll was released nearly one month before the Supreme Court rules on two cases challenging race-based admission at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

A majority of Americans disapprove of Affirmative Action policies used in higher education admission processes, a new poll by CRC Research shows.

59% of voters disapproved of using an applicant’s race or ethnicity to make admission decisions, while 29% supported the concept. 12% reported being “unsure” or “refused” to answer.

The poll preceded two Supreme Court hearings scheduled for Oct. 31 that will challenge affirmative action standards used by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. 

[RELATED: Ketanji Brown Jackson to rule in UNC affirmative action lawsuit]

The case is brought by the advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions, which accuse Affirmative Action of being “unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”

Of the total voters who oppose Affirmative Action, 44% “strongly disapprove” while 16% “somewhat disapprove.”

“Ending the consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions is not a controversial goal. Polling over the last 20 years shows that a significant majority of Hispanics and African-Americans don’t favor race as a factor in college admissions,” Edward Blum, SFFA President, told Campus Reform. “Those who advocate for the continuation of race in admissions are working against the convictions and preferences of the majority of America’s racial minorities.”

58% of voters approve of using merits standards to accept applicants into colleges and universities, “even if it meant that fewer minority students were admitted to the institution.”

SFFA accused in the lawsuit that Harvard inadvertently discriminated against Asian American applicants by enforcing race-based admission standards, despite such applicants submitting higher test scores on average. 

[RELATED: College admissions SCOTUS case is about Anti-Asian discrimination, lawmakers argue in brief]

The poll found that 54% of voters are concerned that fewer Asian American applicants may be accepted into Harvard due to Affirmative Action, while 21% stated it is not a concern.

69% of voters who identify as Republican or Conservative expressed concern for Asian American applicants, along with 63% of Democrat or Liberal voters.

CRC Research surveyed 1,600 “likely voters” from Sept. 14-18 and reports a 2.45% margin of error.

Campus Reform contacted Harvard, UNC, and SFFA for comment. Best effort was made to contact CRC Research for comment.

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