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Democrats cease lead over education to Republicans, according to new Battleground State Poll

The findings stem from a new EdTrends poll of voters in four battleground states released by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).

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According to a new EdTrends poll of voters in four battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina — released on July 28 by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), Democrats have ceded confidence on education to Republicans as many voters cited concerns regarding the pandemic learning loss that has continued nearly four years later. 

Democrats once held a double-digit lead on trust in education but according to the findings, now trail Republicans (-3 percentage-points) among all voters in the four battleground states on the issue. Democrats are still leading in regards to trust on other issues where Democrats have historically maintained strong advantages such as abortion and immigration. 

Comparatively:

-- Democrats led Republicans on ensuring women have access to quality healthcare (+21 percentage-points, a -24-point gap compared to public education).

-- Democrats led Republicans on dealing with climate change (+13 percentage-points, a -16-point gap compared to public education).

-- Democrats led Republicans on reducing gun violence (+7 percentage-points, a -10-point gap compared to public education).

Republicans overwhelmingly won in public education as it was the only issue where they had an advantage in each state. Democrats held double digit leads over their GOP counterparts on ensuring women have access to quality healthcare (+21%) and protecting the environment (+13%).

Other findings include that nearly six out of 10 parents didn’t see what they considered to be improvements in their schools, despite the large sums of pandemic relief investments over since 2020. 

A number of voters reported seeing some improvement in the past year and said they trusted Democrats on education over the GOP by a 12-percentage point margin (46% to 34%). Improvements included high-impact tutoring, after school and summer learning programs, and better school facilities. 

It was not a total loss for Democrats as the survey showed strong favorability among all voters, including Democrats and Independent over public school choice, including public charter schools (64% and 66%), public magnet schools (62% and 60%), and career academies (70% and 67%). 

Even with the GOP’s choice programs in these states, voters still side with the Democratic vision of public-school choice by 35-percentage points (68-32%).

“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.”

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