Posted on July 26, 2011

63% Oppose Giving Women, Minorities Special Treatment When It Comes to Hiring

Rasmussen, July 25, 2011

Just over one-in-five Likely U.S. Voters (22%) now support government programs that give special treatment when hiring to women and minorities.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% oppose programs that give hiring preference to women and minorities. That’s up eight points from 55% a year ago. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure about them. {snip}

When asked specifically about “affirmative action programs” in general without any further description, 26% of voters favor them, while 45% are opposed. Thirty percent (30%) are undecided.

A plurality (46%) of voters believes affirmative action programs discriminate against white men, but 31% disagree. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.

Still, just 10% think affirmative action programs have been a success. Twenty-five percent (25%) rate them as a failure, while 60% feel they fall somewhere in between success and failure.


A well-intentioned program dating from the 1960s, affirmative action has now become a political catch phrase, particularly among some white voters, for what is seen as mandated quotas based on special treatment or even reverse bias. For many minority voters, however, opposition to affirmative action is viewed as racism.


Seventy-four percent (74%) of black voters favor government programs that give special treatment to women and minorities. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of whites and 66% of voters of other races oppose these programs.