Polls Show Republican Attacks on Teaching Racism Are Backfiring

Republicans have been attacking schools that teach the history of racism in the U.S. and provide inclusive environments for LGBTQ students, hoping to capitalize on a tactic that worked in one noteworthy election last year — but a new report suggests that these efforts may ultimately backfire for the party.

Researchers and pollsters talking to Politico about GOP candidates running in the 2022 midterms said that campaign promises to restrict discussion of racial or LGBTQ issues in classrooms energize Republicans’ base, but push away centrist voters who view their attacks as being too hard on children.

“Their hypothesis was that it would be a swing issue, particularly for suburban voters and parents, and not just a base issue,” Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, told the publication. “The way they’ve overplayed their hand is that it’s just a base issue, and in fact alienates some of the suburban voters — particularly suburban parents.”

“The far-right MAGA strategy of using kids and schools as culture war pawns has failed and continues to fail to win converts,” a report from Democratic polling GBAO firm stated last month.

Even GOP-aligned analysts are warning about the strategies used by many Republican candidates.

“We see more and more Republicans continuing to play to their base instead of trying to expand their audience. What we really find is the voters really are more in the middle,” Paul Bentz, an Arizona-based Republican pollster, told Politico.

Since September began, around 90,000.050 political ads on education have been shown in the United States. Many of the GOP candidates’ ad campaigns make bigoted or baseless allegations against Democrats.

An attack ad against Michigan Democratic Governor. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, accuses her of wanting “a drag queen in every classroom indoctrinating our children.” Democratic Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin, meanwhile, has been hit with ads accusing him of wanting books in public schools that “shame kids for being white,” a common — but false — talking point from right-wingers who use fearmongering about critical race theory to activate their base.

When Glenn Youngkin, then-GOP candidate for Virginia governor, was running for office, he used a similar strategy to defeat his Democratic opponent. promising to restrict classroom discussions of racism in the state. Following Youngkin’s win, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) promised that the GOP would be “the party of education.” Instead of developing proposals to increase resources for teachers and students, however, Republicans have been promoting a so-called “parents’ bill of rights” to empower bigoted school district residents to file complaints about public school curriculums.

Right-wing politicians, parents, and groups from across the country have tried to restrict curriculum or ban books in school libraries that discuss race or LGBTQ themes over the past year. Florida is an example. passed a “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law that limits teachers’ ability to talk about LGBTQ subjects. Texas is one of the most liberal states in the country. In the past year, more books were banned in this state than any other., also limited how teachers can discuss racism.

Forty-two states in total have introduced billsPublic school educators are prohibited from teaching about the history, culture, and politics of racism in the U.S. 17 states have so far passed such laws or policies.

Researchers at the University of Southern California have published a recently published report that proves this. while right-wing voters support implementing such restrictionsPublic schools classrooms most Americans opposeThese are the measures.

“Americans overwhelmingly want high school to be a place where students learn about multiple sides of controversial topics, and they are free to access books touching on a variety of controversial content,” the study found.

According to the research, fifty-nine per cent of adults in the U.S. support lesson plans on transgender identity and rights, while 63percent support teaching about sexual orientation. Sixty-five per cent believe gay rights should be taught at schools.

Ninety-four percent back lesson plans about the “contributions of women [and] people of color” in the U.S., while 95 percent agree that the topic of slavery should be taught in schools and 86 percent believe that racial inequality should be discussed in the classroom, the poll found.