Latest Polling Finds: What Matters Most to Swing State Voters
November 2, 2020
Recently our partner organization Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) teamed up with HIT Strategies and Latino Decisions to conduct polling in North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin and Arizona. Findings showed, in all of these key swing states, Biden is maintaining a small but very real lead. Our polling also found that accountability and high quality public choice continue to be popular with voters, and specifically, there is clear support for expanded access to public charter schools. Trump’s poor performance in responding to COVID-19 has been reflected in Arizona, where many voters feel he has not done a good job of keeping students safe or providing them with the best education possible during these times.
The polls were conducted between the below dates:
North Carolina and Georgia: July 23 – 31, 2020
Arizona: Sept. 28 – Oct. 6, 2020
Wisconsin: Oct. 14-19, 2020
Biden Holds Narrow Lead
Across the four states, Biden polled ahead of Trump—though still tight in three of the four states.
|NC: +10||GA: +4||AZ: +3||WI: +5|
The gap widens substantially among voters of color: 83% of Black Wisconsin voters and 64% of Latino Arizonans say they support Joe Biden.
Biden Benefits from Coney Barrett’s Confirmation
When asked about Amy Coney Barrett’s, then potential, confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, Wisconsin voters indicated they would be more likely to support Biden by 7 percentage points, should Trump appoint a conservative judge.
This gap was even wider among registered Independent voters, who would then favor Biden over Trump by a whopping 19 percentage points. In Arizona, 42% of voters—including undecided and leaning voters by more than two to one—would be more likely to vote for the former Vice President if the Senate votes on Justice Ginsberg’s replacement.
Democrats Leading in 2 of 3 Senate Races Polled
- In the Georgia Senate race, Democrat Jon Ossoff led Republican David Perdue 42% – 39%.
- The Georgia Senate special election was tighter and slit between a crowded field. Republicans Kelly Loeffler (22%) and Doug Collins (18%) led Democrats Raphael Warnock (14%) and Matt Liberman (14%), though 23% of voters at the time were undecided.
- In Arizona, voters favored Democrat Mark Kelly over Republican Martha McSally (47% to 42%).
- In Wisconsin, 56% of voters approved of Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin, while only half (an even 50% split among a crowded field) approve of Republican Senator Ron Johnson. Note: neither senator is up for re-election in Wisconsin.
COVID-related Education Woes Weigh Heavily on Voters
Across the country, Biden overwhelmingly is seen as the more trustworthy candidate when it comes to education.
- In Georgia and North Carolina, 57% total voters listed distance learning as their main education-related concern going into elections, with the majority of voters (>50%) opposed to students and teachers returning to school before there is a coronavirus vaccine
- In Arizona, 49% of Arizona voters feel Biden will do a “better job” with education, compared to 37% who believe the same of Trump
- In Wisconsin, 58% of total voters—and 72% of Black voters—feel that President Trump has done a poor job of keeping students safe at school and providing them with the best education possible.
Voters Support Administering Annual Assessments in Spring 2021
Despite the disruption in annual assessments this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the majority of voters polled support administering annual assessments in Spring 2021. This includes:
- 51% of parents surveyed in both Georgia and North Carolina; and
- 67% of voters in Arizona.
Voters Want Public School Choice and charter schools
Voters made it clear that, when it comes to public school choice, they support expanding access to more choices, including public charter schools.
- In Georgia and North Carolina 73% of all voters, and 69% of African American voters, and 75% of parents, indicated their favor.
- 74% of voters in Arizona, including 77% of Latino voters, support more options within the public school system, including public charter schools.
- 73% support expanded access to public charters with tougher accountability rules, including 76% of Latino voters.
- In Wisconsin, 63% of respondents, including 74% of Black voters, were also in favor of expanding access to more options within the public-school system, including magnet schools, career academies, and public charter schools.
While the outcome of the upcoming election is uncertain, this polling tells us that voters in crucial states support Biden, support public school choice, support statewide annual assessments, and most certainly support equitable education.
We will keep fighting to see their wishes fulfilled.
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