New Poll Shows Massachusetts Democrats Strongly Support Ballot Question on Public Charter Schools
BOSTON — Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) today released the results of a new poll that shows strong support among Democrats for Question 2, a ballot initiative that seeks to raise the cap on the number of public charter schools allowed to operate in the state. 59% of respondents of the telephone poll said they would definitely or probably support Question 2 this November. Just 20% said they would definitely not vote in support. A majority of Democratic voters polled, 62%, said that in general they support public charter schools.
“This poll reinforces what we knew all along: the action recently taken by the Democratic State Committee did not represent the views of everyday Democrats,” said Liam Kerr, DFER Massachusetts State Director. “With support from 65% of Democrats who belong to a labor union that is not affiliated with a teachers’ union, there is no doubt of the strong support for lifting the cap among working families. This should serve as a wake-up call to party insiders.”
The polling data released today supports the data in other recent public independent polls. As recently as May, a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll showed that among Democrats polled, 44% believed public charter schools offer better options for students and parents. The same poll shows that 45% of Democrats were in favor of lifting the cap, with 36% opposed.
“The opponents of Question 2 said that it is ‘silly’ to conduct a public poll of Democrats on this issue -- and now we know why,” said Marty Walz, Chair of the DFER Massachusetts Advisory Council and a former state representative. “The results clearly contradict the message promoted by the opponents of this ballot question and that’s why they didn’t want the facts to come to light. The truth is, Democrats support giving more families access to more high-quality public charter schools.”
84% of Democrats surveyed said they consider President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton to be “real Democrats.” Both President Obama and Secretary Clinton support the expansion of high-quality public charter schools.
The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of DFER on Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24. DFER released the full results of the poll without any redaction. 501 Democrats responded to the poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is a political reform organization that cultivates and supports leaders in our party who champion America’s public schoolchildren.