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63% Oppose Giving Women, Minorities Special Treatment When It Comes to Hiring

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just over one-in-five Likely U.S. Voters (22%) now support government programs that give special treatment when hiring to women and minorities.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% oppose programs that give hiring preference to women and minorities. That’s up eight points from 55% a year ago. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure about them. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

When asked specifically about “affirmative action programs” in general without any further description, 26% of voters favor them, while 45% are opposed. Thirty percent (30%) are undecided.

A plurality (46%) of voters believes affirmative action programs discriminate against white men, but 31% disagree. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.

Still, just 10% think affirmative action programs have been a success. Twenty-five percent (25%) rate them as a failure, while 60% feel they fall somewhere in between success and failure.

With the exception of the question about hiring preferences for women and minorities, these findings are generally little changed from surveys back to July 2008.

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon be reviewing the use of racial preferences in college admissions following a recent federal appeals court ruling that struck down a voter-approved measure in Michigan outlawing such preferences. New California Governor Jerry Brown has joined a lawsuit that hopes to overturn a similar law in his state.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted July 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error for each survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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