College Fix Staff

ANALYSIS: The millennial vote is up for grabs

An informal College Fix straw poll of millennials at the Conservative Political Action Conference found they overwhelmingly favor Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker for the 2016 Republican presidential nominee – but a good number remain undecided.

Of the 132 young people polled by The College Fix, Paul earned 31.8 percent of the vote, with Cruz coming in at second place with 26.5 percent, and Walker earning the third spot with 11.3 percent of voters.

RandPaul.GageSkidmore.FlickrAnd with a strong and surprising showing, 9 percent of young people said they have not made up their minds yet. With that, “undecideds” placed fourth, likely because the election is still two years away and they continue to size up candidates.

What’s more, young people at CPAC giving pause to their preference provides a stark contrast to millennial liberals who have placed their faith in Hillary Clinton because she’s the only prevalent candidate. It may be seen as a strength of the Republican Party that there are a wealth of potential candidates with different strong suits. Indeed, a dozen names sprang forth from the informal College Fix straw poll.

Here are the results:

Rand Paul-31.8% (42 votes)
Ted Cruz-26.5% (35)
Scott Walker-11.3% (15)
Undecided-9% (12)
Jeb Bush-4.5% (6)
Chris Christie-3.7% (5)
Carly Fiorina-3.7% (5)
Marco Rubio-3% (4)
Rick Perry-1.5% (2)
Gary Johnson-1.5% (2)
John Bolton-1.5% (2)
Condoleezza Rice-.75% (1)
Ben Carson-.75% (1)

Despite delivering what many young people deemed a lackluster speech that addressed the floundering access to the American dream, among other topics, 42 voters out of 132 taken, or 31.8 percent of millennials surveyed, favored Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican with a libertarian bent.

Paul supporters maintained a highly vocal presence over the duration of the conference, but undoubtedly peaked during Paul’s address. Hundreds of students could be seen throughout the weekend wearing “I Stand With Rand” t-shirts, and sporting other Rand “swag” distributed in bulk by ardent supporters of his candidacy. Paul also won the official overall CPAC straw poll, with 25.7 percent of over 3,000 votes.

In The College Fix poll, conservative Texan Sen. Ted Cruz somewhat surprisingly came in a close second with 26.5 percent of the vote, beating out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who received 11.3 percent of the vote, despite taking a close second in CPAC’s overall official straw poll.

Among the undecideds, however, many voiced a proclivity toward Walker, who is surging in the Iowa polls. TedCruz3.GageSkidmore.Flickr

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush placed fifth with more than four percent of votes, while former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina brought in 3.7 percent of votes, the same as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Among those who surprisingly polled weakly were Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with 3 percent, and Ben Carson, with less than one percent.

Some surveys show that millennials favor a younger, newer face as their nomination, so it’s a surprise that Rubio lost to his elder counterparts Bush and Christie, despite tending to poll well with younger voters elsewhere.

Also notable is the nonexistent support for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, and Texas favorite Rick Perry, each of whom drew big crowds for their appearances at CPAC.

Bush, who reportedly bussed supporters in from K Street for his Q&A with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, is clearly not favored by conservative millennials, who want a fresh political face that isn’t perceived as establishment. During his speech, dozens of attendees, who appeared mainly to be Tea Party members or Rand Paul supporters, walked out on Bush in protest. Several were college-aged.

“America needs leaders who are committed to conservative values,” said Lauren McCue, a student at Virginia Tech. “Jeb Bush’s support of Common Core and amnesty are appalling and detrimental to this country. It’s evident that many conservatives agree with me from Jeb’s 5th place standing in the CPAC straw poll.”

Outside candidates like John Bolton, Condoleezza Rice, and libertarian Gary Johnson also received at least one vote.

Politics aside, millennials most enjoyed the diverse pool of candidates and speakers at CPAC, saying they appreciate how it fosters a competition of ideas.

“CPAC brought out the best in quality conservatism,” said Grand Valley State University student Benjamin Soltis. “While liberals say we are only about quantity, a forum where all perspective candidates had their turn instills the opportunity for picking the best choice for America while including the future of our party—millennials—in the process.”

College Fix reporters Derek Draplin and Samantha Audia are students at the University of Michigan.

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IMAGES: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The mere mention of the words “Koch brothers” is enough to send the media into a paroxysm of angst.

The University of Delaware’s David Legates, a geography professor and former (Delaware) state climatologist, “is entangled in a widening controversy over possible undisclosed industry support for attacks on reports about human-caused global warming.”

Democratic Representative Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona sent a letter to U. of Delaware President Patrick Harker requesting info on the sources of Legates’ funding.

The representative noted that Harvard professor Willie Soon, another global warming skeptic, “had received funding from the conservative Koch Foundation that was not disclosed when he testified before a House science committee …”

The News Journal reports:

In his letter to Harker, Grijalva wrote: “I am hopeful that disclosure of a few key pieces of information will establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations published in your institution’s name and assist me and my colleagues in making better law.”

In June 2014, Legates testified at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee about droughts and agriculture.

“My overall conclusion is that droughts in the United States are more frequent and more intense during colder periods. Thus, the historical record does not warrant a claim that global warming is likely to negatively impact agricultural activities,” he testified.

He went on to tell the committee about efforts to silence climate change dissenters.

Legates and the University of Delaware aren’t the only faculty or institutions under scrutiny.

Letters also were sent to the presidents of MIT, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine, Arizona State and universities of Alabama and Colorado. All of the schools have had a researcher appear before Congress.

A spokesperson for UD said that its (financial) disclosure forms “are not public.”

In 2007, Legates was chastised by former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner and told “to stop using his state climatologist title in statements challenging climate change science.”

“Your views, as I understand them, are not aligned with those of my administration,” Minner had told Legates.

The News Journal notes that some of Legates’ work has “had ties to organizations supported by Koch and oil industry interests.”


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The union representing teachers at the University of Delaware is upset with President Patrick T. Harker.

Harker had the temerity to opine that colleges are “pricing themselves out of the reach of the middle class,” and that high costs can helped be contained “by rethinking our mission and our methods.”

The UD president wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Universities must adapt to meet student needs” back on February 5.

An executive council member of the UD faculty union, Gerry Turkel, said in response that “… it’s inconceivable to me that a president of the University of Delaware would put forth an alternative to the education that we offer, and be so dismissive of what he considers to be his faculty.”

The News Journal reports:

In response [to President Harker], the Executive Council of the American Association of University Professors, UD Chapter, last week took issue with nearly every point in Harker’s remarks.

“At a time when the University of Delaware is engaged in recruiting students and planning a capital campaign, it is puzzling why President Harker would write ‘smart students are seeking innovative and less expensive degree paths,’ ” the statement reads. Harker’s sense that universities should deliver learning that “suits the customer,” they wrote, “is an affront to the mission of university education and to core values of academic life.”

“A system of education that is rooted in for-profit and itinerant faculty who are not stable, and basically run by managers, rather than people who are fully engaged in the mission of higher education,” said Turkel, who teaches sociology and legal studies, “is no substitute for face-to-face, fully developed relationships between faculty members who engaged in research and who have local and national reputations, and are working with students on a daily basis.”

The council acknowledges the skyrocketing cost of a college education, saying that “the costs of higher education have been shifting from state governments to students and their families.” But it said that for-profit schools are “contributing to current problems” and that “a scandalous portion” of the more than $1 trillion in U.S. student debt is paid to the schools.

And, the council added, “Expenditures on faculty are not the cause of increased costs to students and their families.”

UD, the council pointed out, “is in excellent financial condition.”

That is certainly true; Delaware has a $1.3 billion endowment.

Nevertheless, “there’s a crisis coming,” Harker says, as college costs skyrocket (UD currently costs $12,300 for in-state students; $30,700 for out-of-state) and “smart students … [go] online to find innovative, less expensive degree paths.”

Read the full News Journal article and President Harker Inquirer piece.

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After a doctoral student suggested getting rid of racial descriptions in crime alerts at the University of Minnesota, the school decided to meet him halfway.

Minnesota Daily reports that the school will be “more selective” in mentioning race in the alerts:

The school will now include suspect descriptions in its alerts only if there is information specific enough to help identify a person or group, according to an email sent to University faculty members, students and staff.

The modified alerts are part of an effort to make the University community feel more comfortable, according to an email from Vice President for University Services Pam Wheelock and President Eric Kaler. …

Wheelock, along with University police Chief Greg Hestness, will now decide what to include in the alerts on a case-by-case basis.

This is important because the campus was “hit with a string of violent crimes in fall 2013 — including a sexual assault and an attempted armed robbery — prompting safety discussions among administrators and the campus community,” the Daily says.

Read the story.

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An editorial cartoon that ran in The Georgetown Voice — since redacted — led to a large protest and calls for “discussion” around the Washington, DC school’s campus.

The cartoon, seen below

… depicts then-GUSA executive candidates Chris Wadibia and Meredith Cheney in a horse costume, beaten by now-GUSA president- and vice president-elect Joe Luther and Connor Rohan wielding two bats that read “Satire” and “Heckler.” Two bystanders at the bottom of the cartoon discuss the scene, with one saying, “Should we make them a grave?”

The image has been dubbed “racist” and “misogynistic.”

As might be expected of a university-related publication, the powers-that-be at the The G.V. are buckling under the (P.C.) pressure.

The Hoya reports:

[Voice Editor-in-Chief Dayana] Morales Gomez said the cartoon was redacted and removed from the Voice’s website immediately after the newsmagazine heard of the criticism.

“We don’t have a huge staff in the office every week, and most articles and drawings are coming in on production night, so mistakes slip through the cracks,” she wrote in an email. “Sometimes we forget an Oxford comma; sometimes we misattribute a quote. This week we neglected to consider all implications of Page 13’s drawing. The intent of the drawing was to criticize the Heckler, so we were not expecting a response like this. That being said, we have been receptive to the response and have since redacted the drawing. We are working to make sure a drawing like this one never again makes it to print.”

The Voice also issued a formal apology for the cartoon on its website Friday night, and Morales Gomez said that they are in the process of developing guidelines for their cartoon page.

Morales Gomez groveled further, adding the paper “can’t take back the hurt,” and that they’re “working to do better.”

Furthermore, the “current climate” of police brutality made the cartoon even more inappropriate.

Kimberly Blair, organizer of the demonstration, said “[I dislike] the fact that someone with the political climate, with the political climate in this country right now, with police brutality against people of color, can’t see the problem with posting this not just in general, because this is violence, but also with what’s happening in our world right now.”

Chris Wadibia, one of those depicted in the image, said he hopes the cartoon and subsequent reaction “can encourage [a] campus-wide discussion about racism.” But, of course!

Voice cartoonist Dylan Cutler endured his struggle session as could be expected: He “encourage[d] the community to help educate him about his actions and about racism.”

“I stand with you, I ask to be your ally,” Cutler said. “I don’t want to contribute to racism and I don’t want to make anyone feel afraid. It is not my intention to spread a message of hate. I want to help silence the message of hate and it is apparent that I still have a lot to learn in order to do so. So I invite you, please come up, introduce yourself to me and I invite you to teach me. I promise, I’m really not as bad as that cartoon may have led you to believe.”

Read the full article.

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IMAGES: YouTube; The Georgetown Voice/Imgur

Not that this sort of stuff is really all that surprising anymore, but a teacher in Seattle, a one Moses Rifkin of University Prep, is teaching about the dreaded “white privilege” in, of all classes, physics.

Rifkin says that he “was jealous of [his] colleagues in English and History who got to talk every day in class” about society and morality, etc. Teaching at a private school “only made matters worse” for Rifkin — his students “weren’t learning about their own privilege.”

National Review Online’s Katherine Timpf reports:

During one section of the course, Rifkin’s post explains, students study black physicists. For a homework assignment, he instructs students to learn about a pre-1950s black physicist and also a modern black physicist.

Rifkin explains that he expects finding information about black physicists will be tough, which “points to the big question of this project: why is this? Why, percentage-wise, are there dramatically fewer black physicists than black Americans?”

“Is it because black students are not interested in physics? Not capable? Something else?” the homework assignment asks.

Yes — the physicist has to be black specifically and the assignment “will not cover any other minority groups that may not be as involved in science.”

“We do this because it’s a particularly illustrative example; we aren’t going to directly address other scientific minorities, and there are many: women, other races, the economically disadvantaged, the physically disabled, etc.” the course description clarifies.

Timpf notes how Rifkin wrote a guest post at fellow physics teacher John Burk’s blog. Apparently, Burk loves the “privilege” subject matter as much as Rifkin.

Oddly enough, like Rifkin (whose University Prep costs $29,500 per year at the high school level), Burk teaches at an elite private school. In fact, elite private schools appear to be the only places at which Mr. Burk has taught; previous sites of employment include Washington DC’s Sidwell Friends (where President Obama’s daughters attend), and Atlanta’s Westminster Schools.

If these gents are so acutely concerned about “white privilege,” why do they constantly surround themselves with it?

UPDATE: Timpf notes that the head of Rifkin’s school, University Prep, is “fully aware” and “supports” the teacher’s lessons on “white privilege.”

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IMAGE: Elias Schewel/Flickr