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Is America's ivory tower leaning left?

January 22, 2006

Do Democrats and liberals dominate college campuses in the United States? Here's what some studies show:

Among faculties

* Academics who identified themselves as left or liberal

in 1984: 39%

in 1999: 72%

* Academics who identified themselves as right or conservative

in 1984: 34%

in 1999: 15%

* Among faculties in 1999, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 5 to 1

* The Democratic advantage by department in 1999

English: 35 to 1

History: 17.5 to 1

Biology: 4 to 1

Engineering: 3 to 1

Computer science: 2 to 1

Chemistry: 1.5 to 1

But in agriculture, Republicans held a 1.3-1 edge.

* In 2004, employees of the University of California and Harvard University were John Kerry's largest dollar contributors and among Howard Dean's top five.

Among students

* Incoming freshmen who identified themselves as left or liberal

in 1984: 22%

in 2004: 30%

* Incoming freshmen who identified themselves as right or conservative

in 1984: 21%

in 2004: 24%

Sources: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1984); Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter and Neil Nevitte (1999); Center for Responsive Politics (2004); Higher Education Research Institute (2004)

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