Poll shows GOP support for Common Core standards

Advocate staff file photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- State Superintendent of Education John White. Show caption
Advocate staff file photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- State Superintendent of Education John White.

A Republican pollster said Monday that a new survey shows more GOP support nationally for the Common Core academic standards than generally thought.

“Based on the relentless drumbeat of opposition coming from the political right, a Republican candidate could be forgiven for assuming conservatives don’t support the Common Core State Standards,” pollster John McLaughlin said in a prepared statement.

“But in fact the view of Common Core among Republicans isn’t nearly as clear-cut as many conservative activists think,” he said.

“Ordinary Republican primary voters, which far outnumber the grass-root activists, are generally very supportive of the standards,” McLaughlin said.

The findings show that more than four in 10 GOP primary voters do not know what Common Core is.

Among those who do, support for the academic goals is 33 percent while 41 percent oppose them.

McLaughlin said the margin shows the issue is not as polarizing as some activists believe.

The poll also found that Republican primary voters are more likely to back a candidate who backs the standards, 48 percent, than one who links them to the Obama administration, 36 percent.

The national online poll was conducted April 7-13 of 1,000 likely general election voters, with an oversampling of 500 GOP primary voters from April 14-17.

The larger sampling results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, and the primary voters check has a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Common Core is one of the key issues in the final month of the 2014 Legislature.

The standards, which take full effect for the 2014-15 school year, represent new rigor in reading, writing and math and have been adopted by 43 states.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he would consider unilaterally scrapping the tests that go with Common Core and earlier backed a bill that would replace Common Core with new academic goals written by state educators and others.