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Democrats garner 96 percent of Pennsylvania college faculty political contributions

Over 96 percent of 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 Pennsylvania’s eight largest universities gave over $2.2 million to Democratic federal candidates during the current election cycle, while Republican candidates only collected $83,000, 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 nearly $414,000, while Republican Donald Trump raised only $28,400, or just over six percent of the total given to remaining presidential candidates.

In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania by less than one percentage point. A Real Clear Politics average of polls currently shows Trump trailing Biden by slightly less than four percentage points.

Interestingly, the most pro-Trump university was the state’s largest, Penn State, where Trump has raised $14,455, or nearly 22 percent of the total funds donated to the remaining two presidential candidates.

At Penn State, however, the two largest fundraisers remain former Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders ($70,000) and Elizabeth Warren ($52,000), both of whom dropped out of the race in early spring of this year.

At every other college other than Penn State, Biden has collected more than 94 percent of the donations made from the school.

The greatest share of Biden contributions came from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where 98 percent of donations went to Biden, a former senator from neighboring Delaware. Carnegie Mellon was founded in 1900 by wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in the world at the time.

The most politically active campus in the state as measured by fundraising is the University of Pennsylvania, where faculty members donated $845,000 to federal candidates, nearly 97 percent of which went to Democrats.

Biden raised $187,489, or 97 percent of the total given to the remaining presidential candidates, from Penn, which hosts the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

At Temple University, the state’s second largest school, Trump ranked 29th in terms of fundraising. Temple faculty have donated more funds to Democratic Senate candidates Mark Kelly (AZ), Amy McGrath (KY), Sara Gideon (ME), and Jaime Harrison (SC) than Trump.

In fact, at Temple, Trump only barely outraised New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, $2,140 to $1,861.

In February, a College Fix analysis of faculty contributions from Big Ten Conference schools found that Democrats had collected 99 percent of all the money raised. A separate Fix analysis showed that 99 percent of contributions from faculty at Ivy League schools went to Democrats. These numbers included all the Democratic candidates still in the race.

Penn State is in the Big Ten, while Penn is in the Ivy League.

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

MORE: 92 percent of college faculty members’ political donations in Ohio went to Democrats

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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.