Support for Affirmative Action Dropping? Or Just White Support?

As we await the Supreme Court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, a new poll reveals serious divides along both racial and ideological lines. 

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As the country awaits the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the University of Texas' consideration of race (among other admissions factors) to ensure a diverse student body, NBC reported on Tuesday on the results of a poll whose results show that a "record low number of Americans support such programs."

Just 45 percent of respondents said they believe affirmative action programs are still needed to counteract the effects of discrimination against minorities, while an equal 45 percent feel the programs have gone too far and should be ended because they unfairly discriminate against whites. 

That's true, but a closer look reveals a wide divide on the issue along racial and ideological lines:

Among whites polled, almost six in 10 (56 percent) oppose affirmative action. But among minorities asked, eight in 10 blacks and six in 10 Hispanics favor it.

There is also an ideological split, with 67 percent of Democrats saying the programs are still needed, compared to 22 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Tea Party supporters. And just 39 percent of independents agree that affirmative action should be continued.

"Right now, I feel like it's reverse discrimination," said one poll respondent, a white, 69-year-old retired teacher from Rhode Island, who was interviewed for this story and did not wish to be identified. "I did support it at first, but, gradually, because of this reverse discrimination it's gone too far."

So when we discuss "American" views on anything -- especially an issue like affirmative action -- let's make clear who we're talking about. 

Read more at NBC News.

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