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Home POLITICS Americans don't want books banned, but they're divided on what schools teach

Americans don’t want books banned, but they’re divided on what schools teach

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly poll roundup.

Recently, an image listing books banned from Florida libraries and schools began making the rounds on Twitter. the 25 titlesSpanning classics from “To Kill a Mockingbird” to “A Wrinkle in Time,” it caught the attention of many, including Randy Weingartenwho is president of the American Federation of Teachers, a major teachers’ union in the US.

Just one problem: the list was false. There is no statewide list of banned books in Florida.

This is not to say that books have not been banned from Florida public schools. Earlier this year, the nonprofit organization America Ballpoint Pen reported that between July 2021 and March 2022, they found more than 200 cases of book bans in seven Florida school districts. It’s just that these bans generally don’t include books like “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Rather, many of the books banned in some Florida districts, and elsewhere, are books that address race, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Lately, Republican-controlled states like Florida have seen increased efforts to ban books that touch on these topics. In 2019The American Library Association tracked 377 challenges to materials in schools, libraries, and universities, and in 2021ALA tracked 729, an increase of more than 90 percent. And as we head into a new academic year, some students are already attending schools where their reading options are now more restricted. In Keller, TexasFor example, more than 40 books have been banned this year, including a graphic novel adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” as well as multiple texts featuring LGBTQ characters. And in some parts of the country, there are no book bans per se, but community members can challenge any book taught in schools that they consider inappropriate.

Yet polls suggest most Americans disagree with banning books, even those on controversial topics. in February, a CBS News/YouGov poll found that 87 percent of Americans opposed banning books that discussed race, and the same proportion opposed banning books that depicted slavery. This aligns with two other surveys this year: A UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Survey March found that only 12 percent of Americans supported schools that banned books that dealt with “divisive topics” and a March poll by Hart Research Associates/North Star Opinion Research, on behalf of the ALA, found that 71 percent of voters opposed efforts to remove books from public libraries.

In fact, the ALA poll found little difference between Republicans (70 percent) and Democrats (75 percent) on the issue. Similarly, the CBS News/YouGov poll found that Americans on both sides of the political aisle opposed banning books, though it also found wide differences in how racial issues should be taught in the classroom, and it is this division that has muddied the debate on banned books currently raging in schools.

For example, although there is no evidence that critical race theory, one scholar legal framework Stating that racism is systemic and ingrained in many American institutions, taught in US classrooms, many parents are concerned that it is being taught thanks to Messages from Republican and Conservative politicians on the issue. And as the CBS/YouGov poll found, Republicans have a very negative view of critical race theory, with 86 percent viewing it unfavorably, compared to 81 percent of Democrats viewing it favorably. Also, in a YouGov poll published this week, Americans were asked how concerned they were about 17 different issues facing their local schools, with Republicans saying they were most concerned that students were being “indoctrinated with liberal ideas” (62 percent), while Democrats said they were most concerned about book bans (57 percent).

But despite partisan differences over public school education, it’s not currently an important issue for many voters in this year’s midterm elections. Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center asked registered voters about the importance of 15 numbers voted on this case, and while 58 percent felt education was “very important,” that outcome was lumped in with a few others like gun policy (62 percent), voting policies (59 percent), and appointments of the Supreme Court (58 percent). the No. 1 issue was the economy, with 77 percent saying it was very important to their vote.

Ultimately, education may not be the top priority Americans are hoping to influence their vote this November, but it remains a controversial topic. And if the overwhelming unpopularity of book bans is any measure, the issue could still influence how voters make their decisions.

Other polling bits

  • A YouGov survey conducted on August 24 found that more than half of Americans “strongly” (37 percent) or “somewhat strongly” (20 percent) supported President Biden’s recent decision to forgive $10,000 of student loan debt for Americans earning less than $125,000. Support rose to 80 percent among Democrats, while just 35 percent of Republicans supported the decision. Opinions were also heavily skewed by age, with Americans ages 30 to 44 expressing the most support (66 percent) and those over 65 most likely to oppose the news.
  • When it comes to eating out and how Americans get their food, concerns about the pandemic seem to have largely subsided. Dining out is picking up: 83% say they now eat out at restaurants once a month or more, up from 87% in 2019 and 74% in 2021. according to a Gallup poll from July 5 to 26. Meanwhile, nearly all Americans also said they shop for groceries in person at least weekly (82 percent) or monthly (15 percent). That’s comparable to pre-pandemic data, though the coronavirus appears to have forever changed the food-buying habits of at least some Americans: Twenty-eight percent now say they now order groceries online at least once a month, slightly more than last year (23 percent) and considerably since 2019 (11 percent).
  • Following the Kansas referendum on abortion earlier this month, a Navigator Research Survey found that a clear majority (60 percent) of Americans self-identified as “pro-choice,” while only about a third identified as “pro-life.” However, there is a clear divide across racial groups, with a lower proportion of white Americans (57%) who were in favor of abortion rights compared to black Americans (65%), Hispanic Americans (66%) and Asian/Pacific Islander Americans. Americans (68 percent). And, unsurprisingly, there are still party divides, though gender is also a big factor among independents. When asked where they would stand if a similar referendum were held in their own state, Democratic men (87 percent), Democratic women (85 percent), and independent women (75 percent) were much more likely. more likely to say they would vote to protect abortion rights than independent men (48 percent), Republican women (40 percent) and Republican men (35 percent).
  • weather a Morning Consult analysis of last year Suggested reality TV is rising in popularity, recent data from YouGov found a split on whether Americans prefer to watch it or star in it. Only about a fifth said they would be very (10 percent) or somewhat interested (11 percent) appearing on a dating reality showas opposed to 62 percent who were not interested at all. Those numbers go up a bit in the context of a makeover reality show: Thirty-two percent said they would be very or somewhat interested versus 49 percent who expressed no interest at all. Enthusiasm tends to run even higher for home renovation reality showswith half of Americans saying they would be interested in participating and only 34 percent reporting no interest at all.

Biden Approval

According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker, 41.5 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 53.8 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of -12.3 points ). At this time last week, 40.5 percent approved and 54.8 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of -14.3 points). A month ago, Biden had a 37.7 percent approval rating and a 57.1 percent disapproval rating, for a net approval rating of -19.4 points.

generic ticket

In our average of generic congressional ticket polls, Democrats currently lead by 0.4 percentage points (44.0 percent to 43.6 percent). A week ago, Democrats led Republicans by 0.5 points (43.9 percent to 43.4 percent). At this point last month, voters preferred the Republicans by 1.1 points (44.2 percent to 43.1 percent).


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