Nine in ten Americans have a positive view of Martin Luther King Jr.

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
January 14, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, a new YouGov poll finds that nine in 10 Americans (89%) have a positive opinion of the civil rights leader, including 67% who have a “very positive” view. 

While people from all political backgrounds are overwhelmingly positive toward King, Democrats are especially likely to have a very positive view (81%). Three in five Independents (62%) and half of Republicans (50%) share that same high level of favorability.

According to a 1966 Gallup Poll, King had a 63% negative rating while he was still alive, even after his famed “I have a dream speech” in 1963. Opinion of King only started to shift after his assassination in 1968. 

See the results from this YouGov Daily Poll and sign up to take daily YouGov polls  

Related: One in nine Americans spent the 2020 holiday season alone 

Methodology: 6,102 US adults aged 18+ were asked “How would you rate your opinion of Martin Luther King Jr.?” and “Which, if any, of the following activities do you plan to do over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend (January 16 - 18)? Please select all that apply.” The survey was conducted between January 8 – 11, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative sample of the United States.     

Image: Getty