The most liberal universities in the United States

“… An article recently published in Econ Journal Watch draws on original data to show just how liberal the United States’ universities have become. The researchers looked at a subscription-only online database that shows how vast numbers of Americans are registered in the 30 states that share this kind of information. They examine the ratio of Democrats and Republicans among tenure-track in five academic fields — economics, history, journalism/communications, law and psychology — at 40 top American universities. (Some of the nation’s top universities, such as the University of Chicago, Rice University and the University of Notre Dame, are excluded from the list because their states don’t release voter registration information.)” …

Interesting to see them ranked.

Voter registration seems like a poor indication of liberal or conservative leanings.

Reagen (sp?) Democrats are conservative and have voted R for decades.

Many people register as one thing when they first register and never change party affiliation (Mr R is an example of this).

If this election has proven anything, it’s that liberal and conservative no longer really align nicely with Ds and Rs

There’s also the factor that one can register for any party without necessarily agreeing with most/all of their platform. For instance, several friends who are progressive left registered themselves as Republicans in states where they practically dominate the local/regional governments so they have the means of choosing the more progressive leaning Republican during the primaries.

Likewise, I know many hard right conservatives here in NYC who registered themselves as Democrats so they could influence the primary elections for local/state offices.

Incidentally, there’s been many examples of politicians in recent times who changed their party affiliation many times…two who are well known figures involved in politics in my area…Michael Bloomberg and Donald J. Trump.

It’s hilarious that the first two replies attempt to deflect away from the truth. Just admit it. Everyone knows that academia and the media are wildly skewed to the Left.

I’m just happy to know that those in academia and the media check their biases at the door when doing studies and reporting, you know, all the sources regular people use to make decisions in politics, the economy, etc.

Maybe liberals are more intelligent so they get the tenure track faculty jobs.

[puts on comparative poli-sci minor hat]

Not to mention by the political overton window standards of most advanced industrialized democracies, the US as a whole is considered very right-leaning…including those who would be considered left-leaning Democrats* here in the US.

*Including many Bernie Sanders supporters.

[takes off poli-sci minor hat]

For the above reason, it wouldn’t surprise me if most scholars who were born and/or raised in foreign advanced democracies(Especially many Western European countries) tend to be very left-leaning by US political overton window standards.

Invalid methodology. The results are therefore flawed and useless. States with an open primary, such as Wisconsin, will find many liberals who do not feel any need to join a political party. Liberals may balk at limiting themselves in that manner. I’m from Wisconsin and never joined a political party until moving to Florida where it was necessary to help choose candidates in the primary elections. I used to need to decide which primary ticket to choose based on the importance of various races and the people running. There is no way of determining how individuals associated with a college/university voted. The closest we can come is to look at the voting demographics of the areas they work in and presumably live in.

There can also be a difference in the faculty and students. I’ve heard the students at UW (Wisconsin)-Madison are more conservative now than back in my day. The faculty- don’t know. The Vietnam War era was very different.

OP’s rejoinder is classic “begging the question” fallacy. Gives a source with a central claim based on questionable evidence. Evidence is questioned, but source is defended on basis of “everyone knows” anyway that the conclusion is correct. Would not do well in my frosh composition class!

@garland – the OP (Dave_Berry) needs to contact your department to complain about the bad grade you gave him. He didn’t write the reply.

The paper is a weak paper. One of the tables show that almost all departments in all these sample universities has at most just 1 registered republican (in a sense, outlier), whereas the number of registered democrats is more of the function of the size of the department. So the ratio of democrats to republican is not a very robust metric for ranking. (The quality of journal in which the paper published says something about the quality of the paper.)

In other words, what is the real difference between 99.9% democrats and 99.99% democrats? (note that these two numbers are used just to make a point)

@droppedit --very honest of you. You’re right, it wasn’t @Dave_Berry. Props for taking responsibility! :slight_smile:

Statistics are pretty clear that a significant majority of Americans with degrees lean Democrat.

A significant majority of those with advanced degrees lean democrat (and even there, the bump is made up almost entirely of women). The data is pretty clear that party identification really skews on three fronts. One, education level where you see large majorities of democrat identification among the least educated and the highest, but a more balanced distribution in the middle. Two, race where you have an exceedingly large majority of African Americans who identify democratic, while other groups tend to split or identify more as independents. Three, gender where large majorities of unmarried women (specifically younger unmarried women) identify democratic, while other groups split more evenly.

These large bubbles make it really hard to draw solid conclusions on any one particular axis, because you don’t know how much the advanced degree advantage has to do with the fact that it is individuals with an advanced degree, or just the gender skew, as an example.

Either way, it is a difficult argument to make that the huge party id advantage in academia isn’t self fulfilling. Certainly no one would or does accept such an argument when the skew shows under representation of groups who are societally more favored than republicans

edit: indicates that all non-white (not just black) people tend to be strongly Democrat, while white people lean Republican.

^The data (which you should be able to find in the pew research referenced in your article), show that more hispanics, as an example, identify as independant than as a member of either party. I am fairly confident that african american is the only racial identifier that shows a large skew to democrat as opposed to either independant or republican.

So frankly you illustrate the point, since it is not at all clear from the data that hispanics or asians “tend to be strongly democratic” as opposed to independant. It is just when those groups are lumped together with a group that does have a significant pro democrat skew (african americans) that you get a significant democrat lean among all non whites (again, as opposed to republican or independant). shows the following for Hispanic respondents:

13% R
34% D
44% I

26% R + lean R
56% D + lean D
18% not leaning

I.e. a significant portion of the independents are leaners, who tend to lean more D than R (so that shifts from D+21 without considering leaners to D+30 with leaners added in).

Note that the D+21 without considering leaners is a stronger partisan difference compared to that found with any level of educational attainment.

Re: 4

I would posit that relatively more intelligent liberals go into academia, while relatively more intelligent conservatives go into banking and industry. I imagine that is supported by populations in Business schools vs. PhD programs – in the case of the latter, especially in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

@ucbalumnus, I am not entirely sure what point you think you are making. My initial statement which you appear to take issue with was “Two, race where you have an exceedingly large majority of African Americans who identify democratic, while other groups tend to split or identify more as independents.” You disputed that statistic by stating that non whites “tend to be strongly democratic”. When I respond by telling you that the data shows most hispanics identify as independants, you respond by telling me I am wrong and citing data which shows that (wait for it) most hispanics identify as independants. I really don’t get your point.

And before you tell me that leaners are really just party identifiers by another name, I will tell you plainly that they are not. I can state with a high degree of confidence that no politician or anyone with experience in politics views them that way. Leaners are issue voters. Those are the soccer moms, and NASCAR dads, Clintonite third way-ers and Reagan democrats. Party identifiers are ideological. A party identifer who doesn’t like Trump or Clinton still holds their nose and pulls the lever. Leaners maybe not.

EDIT: OK maybe I see. I used the word “lean” in a previous post. Perhaps that is where you got the assumption I was talkling abnout leaners? I meant “significant lean” in the sense that there is a exploitable partisan advantage among a particular group. This is important because when you have a significant partisan advantage, then what gets you elected is the D or R after your name on the ballot. Where you have a district with leaners, what gets you elected is your support for particular issues. Its how you see a D pick off a house seat in Mississippi, or an R win one in Massachussets.

However, you made this claim before:

The Pew data shows the following:

HS or less:
22 R, 31 D, 40 I (D+9)
37 R, 47 D, 16 NL (D+10) (including leaners)

Some college:
25 R, 30 D, 40 I (D+5)
42 R, 47 D, 12 NL (D+5) (including leaners)

College graduate:
26 R, 31 D, 39 I (D+5)
42 R, 49 D, 9 NL (D+7) (including leaners)

20 R, 38 D, 38 I (D+18)
35 R, 57 D, 8 NL (D+18) (including leaners)

In all cases, the partisan skew is less than that of Hispanics, and independents are the largest group when leaners are not counted in the partisan counts, so if you want to claim that Hispanics (D+21 without leaners, D+30 with leaners) do not have D tendencies, then you need to back off this claim about educational attainment and partisan preferences.