Profs donating to Democratic candidates outnumbered those giving to Republicans by 95 to 1 ratio
Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of nearly 9 to 1 among college professors, according to new statistics published by Brooklyn College Associate Professor of Business Management Mitchell Langbert and Heterodox Academy Director of Research Sean Stevens.
Langbert and Stevens sampled the political registrations of 12,372 university professors and found that 48.4 percent are registered Democrats and 5.7 percent are registered Republicans, a ratio of 8.5 to 1.
As the authors note in their study, the Democratic Party advantage in the general population is only about 1.1 to 1, with 29 percent of Americans identifying as Democrats and 26 percent identifying as Republicans.
When asked by The College Fix what practical difference such ideological domination makes in the lives of students, Langbert called it a “controversial” question.
“A major reason to be concerned is in Jonathan Haidt’s famous book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,” said Langbert in an e-mail to The College Fix.
“Haidt’s thesis is that we start with a political or moral position and then look for confirmation of that position. Hence, left-oriented professors will tend to look for left-oriented research findings.”
“There is little hope of balanced or objective discussions in fields like economics and industrial relations, much less sociology, history, and gender studies, if all the professors are left-wing and Democratic,” said Langbert, a self-described libertarian. “The same goes for teaching.”
According to the researchers’ new statistics, the greatest disparity in partisanship among college professors in the Northeast, which favored Democrats by a 15.4 to 1 ratio. Partisanship was also highest among female professors, who registered as Democrats by a 16.4 ratio, compared to men, who only favored Democrats by a ratio of 6.4 to 1.
Among disciplines, anthropology is most aggressively partisan, with professor registrations favoring Democrats by a 42.2 to 1 ratio. Sociology (27 to 1) and English (26.8 to 1) were the next most Democratic-leaning majors surveyed, while the most balanced discipline was economics at only 3 to 1.
Langbert and Stevens’ analysis went a step further and considered political donations by professors to partisan candidates. According to federal donation data, professors donating to Democratic candidates outnumbered those giving to Republicans by a 95 to 1 ratio.
Of the 12,372 professors the researchers examined, only 22 donated exclusively to Republicans, while 2,081 wrote checks to Democrats.
In terms of raw dollars, donations by professors favored Democrats by a 22 to 1 ratio, suggesting that Republican professors tend to donate more per contribution.
According to the authors, registration and contribution data are helpful in discerning ideology, as liberals on college campuses are less likely to consider themselves liberal.
“On my campus, Brooklyn College, there is a heavy element of left-wing extremists and Antifa activists,” Langbert said. “Someone who believes in our current system but in increasing government spending by 35 percent, adding health care reform, adding heavy environmental regulation, illegalizing fossil fuels, and so on, might be considered far left nationally.”
“But on my campus, compared to the Antifa activists, they see themselves as moderate, so they answer survey questions by saying that they are moderate even though by national standards they are liberal.”
“It’s like if someone lives in Alaska, and the day is 60 degrees in July, they may say ‘Oh, it’s a nice, warm day,’” he said. “If they live in California, and it’s 60 degrees in July, they may wonder as to why there has been an early onset of winter.”
“The context in which people live drives how they characterize their responses.”
Langbert has been a controversial figure on the Brooklyn College campus, as he once joked on his personal blog about the sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, prompting protests against him calling for his termination.
Editor’s note: Langbert has contributed an op-ed to The College Fix.