See the complete report with graphs.




For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Nguyen
Thursday, March 25, 1999 (916) 444-2278


SACRAMENTO - A survey released today by the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) indicates that an overwhelming majority of Floridians support a ban on race- and gender-based preferences and discrimination in government programs. The poll, conducted by the nationally prominent firm Zogby International, showed strong, broad-based support for a voter initiative, legislation or executive order by Governor Jeb Bush which would eliminate race and sex as factors in public contracting, employment and education.

"Floridians across all demographic lines reject race and gender preferences and embrace equal treatment under the law," said Ward Connerly, Chairman of ACRI. "Those who deny this mandate will be blindsided by this grassroots popular sentiment."

Here are a few highlights from the Florida poll:

-- Approximately four out of every five likely voters in Florida (83%) - including nearly the same percentage of blacks (79%), Hispanics (80%) and women (82%) - support a law that would prohibit government discrimination and preferential treatment on the basis of race, color, gender, ethnicity or national origin in public contracting, employment and education. The Florida poll is consistent with a 1997 Zogby International survey of the nation which showed four out of five Americans (83%) - including almost the same percentage of blacks (79%) - supporting the elimination of preferences.

-- With no discernible racial or gender gap, such a measure in Florida would enjoy the same overwhelming support across partisan (82% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans, 84% of Independents), geographic (80% in the Panhandle, 82% in West Florida, 87% in East Florida, 83% in the Miami area) and religious lines (86% of Catholics, 84% of Protestants, 96% of Jews). There were similar results among all education levels and age and income brackets.

--Three in four (77%) respondents would favor legislation or an executive order by Governor Jeb Bush to eliminate race and sex preferences.

-- Nearly nine in ten (88%) Florida voters - including 74% of blacks - say that race should not be a factor in admission to a public university or college. Similarly, a Zogby International poll two years ago found the same level of support across the nation (87%) for such a ban, with 76% of black Americans in support.

--Nine out of ten (89%) Floridians - and four in five (80%) black Floridians - do not want race or sex to be a factor in who gets hired for government jobs, consistent with the 1997 Zogby poll which found 90% of Americans and 82% of black Americans concurring.

--Two in three (66%) white Floridians believe there is less discrimination now then there was a generation ago, while 7% feel there is more discrimination. Three out of five (59%) black Floridians said there is less discrimination, with 16% expressing there is more discrimination.

The poll, conducted February 17-18, surveyed 603 likely voters in Florida. The margin of error is +/-4%. A list of questions and results is attached in the executive and narrative summary. The report published by Zogby International can be obtained by calling Kevin Nguyen at ACRI (916/444-2278).

ACRI is a nonprofit research and education organization working to inform the public about the problems with racial and gender preferences.

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�1999 American Civil Rights Institute