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Poll: Majority of Republicans believe colleges have a negative impact on the U.S.

In the past two years there’s been no shortage of campus craziness. Protests at institutions like UC-Berkeley, the University of Missouri and Yale have garnered national attention. Hate crime hoaxes are now a common occurrence. And concepts like white privilege and microaggressions saturate the curriculum.

Amid all this, Republicans apparently have had enough of it. A new poll released by Pew Research Center finds for the time that a majority of Republicans say colleges and universities have a negative impact on how things are going in the United States.

From the poll:

While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

It wasn’t too long ago that most Republicans were pretty content with the state of America’s higher education system, but that’s changed dramatically:

As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities. In September 2015, 54% of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country; 37% rated their impact negatively.

By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.

The poll found that “nearly two-thirds of conservative Republicans (65%) say colleges are having a negative impact, compared with just 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans.”

Democrats’ positive feelings towards colleges and universities have increased since 2010. Sixty-five percent of respondents said colleges had a positive impact on America in 2010 compared to 72 percent this year.

The Pew poll also looked at how Americans feel about religious organizations, labor unions, the national news media and banks.

Read the full study.

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