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‘Imaginative’ Poll: Voters Want Candidates to Support the Arts

By Michele McNeil — January 24, 2008 1 min read

Voters with education on their minds aren’t concerned just about math and science—key areas of focus for politicians and policymakers—but with imaginination, innovation, and the arts as well.

That’s according to a new poll, backed by education groups including the nation’s largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association, and (not surprising, given the results and subject of the poll) the Arts Education Partnership.

The poll seems tailor-made for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, whose education agenda centers on advancing the arts in schools—what he calls “weapons of mass instruction.” In fact, 56 percent of those polled said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports more arts funding.

More highlights from the poll: 69 percent of voters polled believe the U.S. is losing the imagination race—that schools here spend less time on the arts and fostering innovation than do schools in other countries. And, 63 percent said teaching the arts is as important as teaching the “basics"—such as reading and math.

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