With the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on whether colleges can use affirmative action in admission decisions, a new Pew Research Center poll finds 50% of Americans saying they disapprove of colleges and universities taking race and ethnicity into account for admission.
Thirty-three percent disagree, approving the use of race and ethnicity.
The poll shows striking divisions by party and race, with three-quarters of Republicans opposed to using race in admissions decisions, while a majority of Democrats approve of it.
The Pew poll, however, stands in contrast to an April 2023 NBC News poll, which found a majority of Americans -- 53% -- agreeing that affirmative action programs are still needed, though the NBC News survey didn’t focus specifically on colleges and universities the way Pew did.
The online Pew Research Center poll was conducted March 27-April 2 of 5,079 adults, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 1.7 percentage points.