A new poll reveals 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 Wednesday as part of The Economist/YouGov poll (pdf), conducted between June 13 and 15 via 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 American Community Study, and was weighted based on gender, age, race, education, and voter registration status in 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Participants were asked if they had “a good idea of what CRT is.” The results show that 54 percent responded “yes,” 23 percent said “no,” and 23 percent said they are “not sure.”
The CRT, which is now the center of a national debate, is rooted in the Marxist theory of class struggle, but with a particular focus on race. Critical race theorists see racism in every aspect of the American public and private life, and seek to dismantle American institutions, such as the Constitution and legal system, which they deem to be inherently and irredeemably racist.
Those who said they knew about CRT were then asked whether they have a “favorable or unfavorable” opinion of it. Of these participants, 25 percent said they are “very favorable,” 13 percent “somewhat favorable,” 5 percent “somewhat unfavorable,” 53 percent “very unfavorable,” and 4 percent said they “don’t know.”
The results also highlight 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 are at least somewhat favorable of CRT, compared to five percent in Donald Trump voters. Similarly, 82 percent of participants identifying as liberals said they have a favorable opinion of CRT, joined by 42 percent of the moderates, and a marginal 7 percent of the conservatives.
When it comes to the question of whether teaching CRT is “good or bad for America,” 37 percent said they believe teaching CRT is “good for America,” while 55 percent said it’s “bad for America,” and 8 percent said it’s “neither good nor bad.”
White men who don’t have a college degree were found to be the least supportive demographic group, according to the survey, with 25 percent of them saying teaching CRT is good for America, and 70 percent saying it’s bad. Meanwhile, black participants were the most supportive group surveyed, with 75 percent who are in favor of teaching CRT and 18 percent who are not.
The poll comes as federal, state, and local efforts to incorporate elements of CRT into American classrooms face intense push back, notably from parents, teachers, and activists who decry far-left indoctrination. States that have banned or restricted the teaching of CRT in public schools include Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas, while more than a dozen states are considering or have partially imposed similar restrictions.