Common Core backers mount a counterattack

Backers of the Common Core standards — which have been wholeheartedly endorsed by the Obama administration and promoted by prominent Republicans such as former Florida Gov. and possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush — argue those results, while still showing sharp divisions, prove that conservative Republicans as a whole aren’t as violently opposed to the system of national math and English standards as widely believed.

Furthermore, they say, the study demonstrates that support for Common Core can be an asset in a general election. Among swing voters, 32 percent approve of the reforms, 30 percent disapprove and 37 percent don’t know.

“Based on the relentless drumbeat of opposition coming from the political right, a Republican candidate could be forgiven for assuming conservatives don’t support Common Core standards. But, in fact, the view of Common Core among Republicans isn’t nearly as clear-cut as many conservative activists think,” Mr. McLaughlin said.