What do Americans think about Betsy DeVos?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
July 16, 2020, 2:27 PM UTC

Two in five Americans (40%) have an unfavorable opinion of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, according to a recent Economist/YouGov Poll. The data comes as the US Education Secretary faces widespread pushback in response to her call to resume full-time, in-person learning by fall 2020.

DeVos' drive to reopen schools comes as most Americans (58%) say K-12 schools should be mostly or completely online in the fall and despite the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' guidelines that children meeting in groups can put people at risk.  

Three in 10 (31%) Americans say they have a very unfavorable opinion of DeVos, compared to 10 percent of Americans who say they have a very favorable opinion of her. Just 13 percent of Americans have a somewhat favorable opinion, compared to 9 percent who say they have a somewhat unfavorable opinion of DeVos.  

Favorability of DeVos varies by political party. Democrats (62%) are more likely than Independents (38%) and Republicans (19%) to say they have an unfavorable opinion of her. Republicans (37%) are more likely than Independents (21%) and Democrats (14%) to say they have a favorable opinion of DeVos.  

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are particularly likely to have an unfavorable opinion of DeVos. Three in four (76%) of those who choose Biden in the trial heat against Trump say they have an unfavorable opinion of DeVos, compared to 16 percent of those who say they will vote for President Donald Trump in 2020. Half (48%) of Trump supporters say they have a favorable opinion of DeVos, compared to 10 percent of Biden 2020 voters.   

According to the recent poll, Americans with a post graduate degree (60%) are more likely to have an unfavorable opinion of DeVos, than college graduates (51%), or those some college education (45%) or a high school level education or less (26%).  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll     

Methodology: The most recent Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between July 12 - 14, 2020. The approximate margin of error is 3.3 percentage points for the overall sample. Samples are weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens.

In this week’s survey, US citizens were asked, “Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of the following people or organizations?” Response options: “Very favorable, Somewhat favorable, Somewhat unfavorable, Very unfavorable, Don’t Know.”  

Image: Getty