by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The public’s demand for school choice, charter schools and education reform is crashing the 2016 presidential election, and those concerned about the direction of the nation’s schools want home-school fan Mitt Romney over Common Core proponent Jeb Bush by a margin of 32 percent to 18 percent, according to a new poll.
Results from the poll, conducted by the American Federation for Children, were obtained by Secrets. The poll found that 69 percent of Americans support school choice. And support for public charter schools is a sky-high 76 percent.
The poll of 1,800 likely voters was conducted by Democratic polling firm Beck Research and revealed a huge lead by Romney, who recently has said he is interested in making a third try for the presidency. In 2012, he supported school choice and homeschooling but decried federal funding for Common Core standards.
His chief opponent in the early GOP primary, Jeb Bush, is a supporter of Common Core and plans to make education his top issue.
But in the poll, Romney leads Bush 32 percent to 18 percent among Republicans. In the Democratic race, the poll echoed all others putting Hillary Rodham Clinton way out in front. She leads 65 percent to 11 percent over Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The emergence of school choice as a key political demand could help shape the upcoming primaries.
“The findings of this poll reflect what we saw in the 2014 midterms and what I am seeing in communities across the country — a demand from parents for more options in deciding how their children are educated,” said Kevin Chavous, a member of AFC’s executive counsel.
You still have a chance to sign up for JLF’s roundtable breakfast discussion on school choice. It’s scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28.