Political Insider

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GOP pollster: Temper anti-Common Core language, or pay in November

John McLaughlin, the Republican pollster, is well known in Georgia.

He generates data for Gov. Nathan Deal, and others as well. Last week, when another poll put David Perdue and Karen Handel at the front of the GOP race for U.S. Senate, Jack Kingston pulled out a McLaughlin poll that had him at the top.

This morning, Deal and Kingston’s pollster advised Republicans across the nation to temper their denunciations of Common Core – or else, in November general elections, the issue could come back and bite them in the fanny

You can read the entire polling memo below, but here’s the upshot:

“All the dangers that come from being associated with the national Republican brand – being exclusive, Anglo-only, anti-woman, anti-Hispanic – are in play here and Republicans would be wise to think of this issue in a broader context.

“The anti-Common Core positions may be inviting in the short-term, but looking to November, supporting state standards that elevate school achievement have far more upside.”

Two general election candidates were described in the poll. Fifty-seven percent preferred the candidate who says “Common Core state standards are supported by 75 percent of the teachers and will help students learn more and be better prepared when they graduate high school.”

The candidate who says Common Core standards “were developed in secret by the Obama administration and are being imposed on kids without input from parents and local school boards” won the support of 26 percent.

Still, the primary dynamics are tempting. The above scenario splits GOP primary voters more closely, 48-36 percent.

Jack Kingston, by the way, is on record as saying that Common Core is a case of “federal overreach,” which puts him at odds with one of his more important backers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Below is the entire missive, including a large paragraph on methodology:

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.