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Democrats garner 97 percent of North Carolina college faculty political contributions

Nearly 97 percent of North Carolina 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 North Carolina’s largest universities gave nearly $2.5 million to Democratic federal candidates during the current election cycle, while Republican candidates only collected only $89,000, according to Federal Elections Commission data of donors who listed their employer. The data include lecturers, faculty, professors, administrators, librarians and other employees.

Of those contributions, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden collected nearly $575,000, while Republican Donald Trump raised only $45,000, or just over seven percent of the total given to the remaining major presidential candidates.

In 2016, Trump won North Carolina by 173,315 votes, or nearly four percentage points. A Real Clear Politics average of polls currently shows Trump trailing Biden by slightly more than one percentage point in the state.

Of all the schools in the state, Duke University, a prestigious private university, donated the most to political candidates. Faculty at Duke contributed nearly $1.15 million to federal candidates, 97 percent of which was collected by Democrats.

At Duke, Joe Biden raised $228,642, compared to Donald Trump’s $16,011.

Faculty at the UNC system campuses, including Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Wilmington and Greensboro, gave nearly $1.09 million to federal candidates, 97 percent of which went to Democrats. Joe Biden raised $276,300 at these state campuses, while Trump only raised $18,380, or slightly more than six percent of the total.

For all federal candidates, Eastern Carolina University was the most pro-Republican, as nearly 19 percent of donations given went to GOP candidates. At Eastern Carolina, Trump raised nearly 30 percent of the total funds given to the remaining two major 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 North Carolina State University, Trump is still being outraised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Andrew Yang.

Further, North Carolina is also in the middle of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between Democrat Cal Cunningham and incumbent Republican Thom Tillis. Cunningham is dramatically outraising Tillis on state college campuses.

The FEC numbers reviewed by The Fix were updated on October 15, 2020. The 2020 election cycle began on January 1, 2019.

MORE: 96 percent of political donations by university faculty in Arizona go 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.