Almost two-thirds of Americans believe that children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have an equal opportunity to succeed, but only 51 percent of those with a four-year college degree say the same, according to the latest College Board/National Journal Next America Poll.
Among whites with a college degree, 52 percent say there is equal opportunity for all children to succeed. In contrast, a full 70 percent of whites without a college degree say the playing field is level. This gap appears among nonwhites, too: About half of nonwhites with a four-year college degree say there is equal opportunity for all children to succeed, compared with 63 percent of nonwhites without a degree.
Americans with incomes greater than $75,000 — who tend to be college graduates — also are less likely than those with incomes under $30,000 a year to say that children of all races and ethnicities have an equal opportunity to succeed, 55 percent to 70 percent, respectively. Sixty-three percent of Americans with yearly incomes between $30,000 and $75,000 said opportunities are equal.
Personal experience may be one explanation for skepticism about equality of opportunity. Those with college degrees and above-average incomes — those who have succeeded — may have a clearer understanding of the impediments they faced and the advantages they enjoyed. Research shows there are many of both: 40 percent of American children born to parents in the top fifth of income remain in the top fifth as adults; 43 percent of children born to the bottom fifth of income remain in the bottom fifth.
The College Board/National Journal Next America Poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, surveyed 1,272 adults ages 18 and older from Oct. 14-24, in English and Spanish, through landlines and cell phones. It includes oversamples of 245 African-Americans, 229 Hispanics, and 107 Asian-Americans; the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the overall sample, with larger error margins for the subgroups. The poll is one component of National Journal’s Next America project, which examines how evolving demography is changing the national agenda.
Last in a five-part series. Click here to download the topline results from the poll and access in your download folder.
The Odds vs. Realities of the American Dream
Hispanics are the most ardent believers despite the many challenges they face in overcoming gaps in income and education, a poll shows.
More in U.S. Warm to the New Melting Pot
While most people accept immigrants for their willingness to take jobs Americans snub, the question of immigrants’ cultural impact still shows a divide across racial, educational, generational, and partisan lines.
Skillfully Climbing the Ladder
When it comes to education or skills training, blacks and Hispanics are most likely to believe that more learning will boost their careers and livelihoods.
Egalitarian College Hopes, to a Degree
62 percent believe money and influence give an edge to attending a top school, though more Asians and Hispanics believe they have a fair shot at one.
What We're Following See More »
The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.