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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Public Opinion on Race-Based Admissions

The Washington Post reports on a new poll:
Three quarters of Americans, 76 percent, oppose allowing universities to consider race when selecting students, the key element in affirmative-action programs in universities nationwide.
A decade ago, the high court approved racial considerations at the University of Michigan Law School but struck down an undergraduate admissions policy that awarded extra points to minority applicants. This year, the court is deciding whether the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions policy — which allows administrators to consider race in admitting about one-quarter of the freshman class — is constitutional.
The wide opposition to affirmative action in college admissions spans partisan and racial divides. Nearly eight in 10 whites and African Americans and almost seven in 10 Hispanics oppose allowing universities to use race as a factor. And although Democrats are more supportive than Republicans of the practice, at least two-thirds of Democrats, Republicans and independents oppose it.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found support for broader affirmative action programs — not specifically in college admissions — at a historic low. About 45 percent said the programs are a good idea, while the same number said they have gone too far and now discriminate against whites, marking the first time in more than two decades that supporters did not outnumber opponents.