POLL: Overwhelming majority favor free speech executive order

A survey released Tuesday regarding an executive order about free speech on college campuses showed that nearly three out of four Americans favor such a move. 

Campus Reform obtained the executive summary of the poll from McLaughlin & Associates, a research firm with offices in Virginia and New York, which conducted the poll online March 18-25.

The precise wording of the online survey question, asked of 1,000 likely 2020 voters nationwide, was “would you favor or oppose an executive order ensuring that free speech would be protected on all college campuses?” The survey began three days before President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would put federal research funding in jeopardy for colleges that do not protect the First Amendment. 

[RELATED: Trump officially signs free speech exec. order: If schools censor, 'we will not give them money']

Here are several of the survey's key findings:

  • Seventy-three percent of respondents said they favor an executive order to protect free speech on campus, 18 percent opposed the idea, and nine percent of respondents were unsure.
  • McLaughlin and Associates found “no statistically significant difference by education level, with college graduates favoring the executive order 72 percent to 21 percent and non-college graduates favoring 74 percent to 16 percent.”
  • Men and women both favored an executive order at a rate of 73 percent.
  • Republicans and Democrats both favored an executive order to protect free speech on campus at rates of 76 and 71 percent, respectively. The biggest difference between respondents from the two parties was the degree to which they favored the idea, with 48 percent of Republicans saying they “strongly favor” the measure compared with just 38 percent of Democrats.

[RELATED: How much federal research funding do colleges in YOUR state receive?]

McLaughlin & Associates polled 1,000 individuals who were likely to vote in the 2020 election. According to the report, those surveyed “were carefully selected and screened from a nationwide representative platform of individuals who elect to participate in online surveys.”

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