- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

An overwhelming 70 percent of voters favor using federal funds to provide universal preschool education, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.

The poll found that just 28 percent opposed the idea.

The survey boosts the call by President Obamas and liberal Democrats for universal access to preschool education for 4-year-olds prior to entering kindergarten. The expansion of free Pre-K education has become a campaign issue in some races this year, including the race for Maryland governor between Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan.

Still, support for taxpayer-funded Pre-K splits along party, race and economic lines.

About 53 percent of Republicans favor using federal money to expand pre-K education, compared to 87 percent of Democrats.

The 70 percent of independents in favor of the proposal matches the national average.

The pollsters also found significant differences by race and income. Nonwhites (85%) are more likely than whites (63%) to favor expanding preschool education, and those residing in lower-income households (81%) show greater support than those in middle- and upper-income households (65% each).

Parents of children younger than 18 are slightly more likely (75%) than Americans who do not have younger children (68%) to favor using federal dollars to expand pre-K education, according to the poll.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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