For a long time, Democrats have held a large advantage over Republicans amongst voters on the issue of education. However, that appears to have changed.

A new poll conducted by Democrats for Education Reform reaffirmed a trend that has been observed in other polls, including one from Carolina Partnership for Education Reform, over the past two years: voters have experienced a change of heart regarding which party they trust more on education.

In the latest poll, conducted on July 28, focusing on four battleground states — North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada — it was revealed that Democrats are now trailing Republicans by a 3-point margin among all voters in trust concerning education. This marks a notable change from the past when Democrats had enjoyed a double-digit lead on this issue.

Regarding the question of which party voters trust more to ensure “public schools are preparing students for success after high school by ensuring they are teaching students to read and do math well,” Republicans held a 36%-33% advantage.

Notably, North Carolina respondents gave Republicans the highest approval rating among the four states surveyed. In the state of North Carolina, 40% of voters place their trust in Republicans, while only 32% express more confidence in Democrats. This represents a significant shift, as education has historically been a decisive issue for the Democratic Party.

The CEO of Democrats for Education Reform candidly acknowledged the trend: “Voters, especially parents, desire more choices for their children, and Republicans are effectively capitalizing on this sentiment.”

North Carolina Democrats have doubled down on opposing school choice, with their party’s leader declaring a state of emergency to explain to voters why school choice is bad for public schools.

Gov. Roy Cooper drew national criticism for this political stunt.

“This hypocrite sent his own kid to a private school,” Corey DeAngelis, senior fellow of the American Federation for Children, said. “They’re losing control over the minds of other people’s children, and they can’t handle it.” 

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, released a scorching statement about Cooper’s state of emergency over school choice being included in the 2023 state budget. The budget has not yet been finalized, but it is likely school-choice funding will be in the final version.

“Through his partisan temper tantrums, it’s clear that Roy Cooper isn’t handling being a lame duck governor very well,” Tillis said. “Governor Cooper created a phony state of emergency in a desperate attempt to block bipartisan, fiscally responsible legislation that will cut taxes for hardworking families, provide pay raises for teachers, more educational opportunities for students, and fund Medicaid expansion.”