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Democrats garner 89 percent of Florida college faculty political contributions

Nearly 89 percent of Florida college and university faculty members that have given to federal candidates in the past two years have donated to Democrats, according to an analysis by The College Fix.

Faculty members at seven of Florida’s largest universities gave nearly $1.1 million to Democratic federal candidates during the current election cycle, while Republican candidates only collected $133,000, according to Federal Elections Commission data collected from employees who named their employer. The data include lecturers, faculty, professors, administrators, librarians and other employees.

Of those contributions, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden collected $283,299, while Republican Donald Trump raised only $51,240, or just over 13 percent of the total given to presidential candidates.

In 2016, Trump won Florida by a little over one percentage point. A Real Clear Politics average of polls currently shows Trump trailing Biden by slightly more than one percentage point.

Since he became president, Trump has declared Florida to be his home state, listing his Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach as his primary residence.

The most pro-Trump school among the universities included in the analysis was the University of Florida, where over 20 percent of the nearly $117,000 raised by both candidates went to Trump. In 2016, over 91 percent of donations from the school went to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, suggesting that the school’s faculty has shifted toward Trump in terms of political donations.

Of the $70,000 donated by faculty at the University of Miami, Trump collected nearly 18 percent. At every other university, Trump garnered less than 13 percent of the total.

For all federal candidates, the University of Miami was also the most pro-Republican, as nearly 15 percent of donations given went to GOP candidates.

Of the states surveyed by The Fix to date, Florida is the most pro-Trump and pro-Republican in terms of faculty contributions. The Fix found that 92 percent of faculty donations in Ohio and 96 percent of faculty donations in Pennsylvania went to Democrats.

Florida faculty members also appear to be less politically active than other swing state schools.

At the University of Florida, the only school to top $300,000 in contributions, faculty members contributed just over $377,000 to federal candidates. In the meantime, Pennsylvania had four schools contribute over $300,000, including the University of Pennsylvania, whose faculty donated $845,000.

At Ohio State University, faculty members donated $461,000 to federal candidates.

A primary reason the percentage of donations given to Democratic candidates is higher than the Trump vs. Biden head-to-head numbers is because of the money donated to Democratic presidential candidates who are no longer in the race. For instance, at Florida State University, Trump is still being outraised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

The FEC numbers reviewed by The Fix were updated on September 8, 2020. The 2020 election cycle began on January 1, 2019.

MORE: Sanders, Warren dominate campus fundraising in battleground states

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About the Author
Senior Reporter
Christian focuses on investigative, enterprise and analysis reporting. He is the author of "1916: The Blog" and has spent time as a political columnist at USA Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and National Review Online. His op-eds have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, City Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review. He has also been a frequent guest on political television and radio shows. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Marquette University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.