College Guide


June 12, 2013 12:54 PM Americans Opposed to Affirmative Action

By Daniel Luzer

In anticipation of the coming Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which two white women are suing Texas’s flagship university, arguing that the school’s affirmative action program—and therefor their rejection for admission—constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Washington Post-ABC News conducted a poll of how Americans feel about race in admissions. They don’t like it.

According to the Washington Post:

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.
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.

The college educated were slightly more likely to support affirmative action programs in college admissions.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Demosthenes on June 12, 2013 2:52 PM:

    A more interesting poll would be one focusing on support for admissions preferences based upon socioeconomic factors. Many people opposed to affirmative action do so because of the "Sasha and Melia" factor. That is, why should President Obama's daughters get any kind of favored treatment in college admissions? Logically, children facing socioeconomic challenges are most deserving of support. Moreover, since many minorities are disproportionately disadvantaged, a well-run affirmative action program based upon socioeconomic factors would like accomplish a similar result in campus diversity, anyway, I hope. What is Washington Monthly's view on this issue?