A new poll shows that 58 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable” view of Critical Race Theory (CRT), while 38 percent say they are in favor of the ideology.
The finding was published on Wednesday as part of The Economist / YouGov poll (pdf), conducted between June 13 and 15 via the Internet among 1,500 adult citizens of the United States, with a plus or minus 3 percent margin of error. The sample was randomly drawn from the 2018 U.S. Community Study and was weighted based on gender, age, race, education, and voter registration in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Participants were asked if they had a good idea of what CRT is. The results show that 54 percent answered “yes”, 23 percent said no, and 23 percent said they were “not sure”.
The CRT, which is now at the center of a national debate, is rooted in the Marxist theory of class struggle, but with a specific focus on race. Critical racial theorists see racism in every aspect of American public and private life, and seek to dismantle American institutions, such as the Constitution and the legal system, which they believe are inherently and irrevocably racist.
Those who said they knew about CRT were then asked if they had a ‘favorable or unfavorable’ opinion about it. Of these participants, 25 per cent said they were ‘very favorable’, 13 per cent ‘somewhat favorable’, 5 per cent ‘somewhat unfavorable’, 53 per cent ‘very unfavorable’ and 4 per cent said they ‘did not know’.
The results also emphasize a division along party and ideological lines. An overwhelming 82 percent of those who voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election said they were at least a little favorable for CRT, compared to five percent of Donald Trump voters. Similarly, 82 percent of the participants who identified themselves as liberals said they had a favorable opinion on CRT, along with 42 percent of the moderates and a marginal 7 percent of the conservatives.
When asked if CRT education is ‘good or bad for America’, 37 percent said they believe CRT is ‘good for America’, while 55 percent say it is ‘bad for America’, and 8 percent have said that it ‘not good or bad. ”
According to the poll, white men who do not have a university degree are the demographic group that supports the least, and 25 percent of them say that teaching CRT is good for America and 70 percent that it is bad. Meanwhile, black participants were the most supportive group surveyed, with 75 percent in favor of CRT education and 18 percent not.
The poll comes as strong, federal, state and local attempts to incorporate elements of CRT into U.S. classrooms are pushing back, especially from parents, teachers and activists who reject left-wing indoctrination. States that prohibit or restrict the teaching of CRT in public schools include Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, while more than a dozen states have considered or partially imposed similar restrictions.