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Minority Voter Groups Oppose Concealed Carry on Campuses, UT Poll Finds

The majority of black and Latino voters in Texas oppose campus carry, according to a public opinion poll by The University of Texas at Austin. 

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AUSTIN, Texas – The majority of black and Latino voters in Texas oppose the new state law that allows for the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses, according to the first public opinion poll from the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (IUPRA) at The University of Texas at Austin.

According to the poll, 79 percent of black voters, 66 percent of Latino voters and 47 percent of white voters in Texas oppose Senate Bill 11, approved by the Legislature last summer to allow license holders to carry concealed handguns on university campuses, effective Aug. 1, 2016.

Kevin Cokley

Pictured: Kevin Cokley. Photo courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts.

The statewide phone survey was conducted March 16-31 by Consumer Research International. The sample included 1,011 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.08 percentage points. Asian-American voters were also polled, but their numbers were too small to report. Major areas of the state were represented in the sample, which included an oversample of 254 black voters, meaning a more than typical number of black participants were chosen where everyone had an equal chance of being selected.

“Statistically, oversampling generates more reliable estimates for black voters with a smaller margin of error,” said IUPRA Director Kevin Cokley. “Polling data often does not report results disaggregated by race, and the views of black voters may not be known.”

IUPRA is one of the three branches of Black Studies at UT Austin. It was developed in 2011 with the mission to conduct applied policy research and analyses that support access, opportunity and choice for African Americans and the poor.

“While there are several polls in existence, IUPRA’s polling efforts are unique in that they situate the analysis within a black studies context and focus on black voters as the point of comparison on public opinion,” said Cokley. The poll also asked voters about criminal justice, racism and education, finding:    

  • Eighty-two percent of black voters polled believe officer-involved shootings of black people reflect institutional racism, while 55 percent of Latino voters and 33 percent of white voters agree.
  • There should be mandatory diversity training for police officers according to 98 percent of black voters polled; 94 percent of Latino voters and 85 percent of white voters agree.
  • Racism and discrimination have gotten worse in the U.S. in recent years according to 77 percent of black voters, 74 percent of Latino voters and 66 percent of white voters polled.
  • The use of Common Core standards, which set guidelines for what kindergarten through 12th-grade students should know in math and English, was supported by 54 percent of black voters, 47 percent of Latinos and 33 percent of white voters polled.

This is an initial set of findings from the 2016 IUPRA poll. Comprehensive poll results, graphics, summaries, crosstabs and the survey data set will be released throughout this week on the IUPRA website. Follow IUPRA on Twitter at @IUPRA_UT for notifications about releases.