A recent study found that college professors across the United States are overwhelmingly in favor of Democrats over Republicans when it comes to making political donations.
The study, conducted by Heterodox Academy Director of Research Sean Stevens and Brooklyn College Professor Mitchell Langbert and published by non-profit organization National Association of Scholars, showed that political contributions made by college faculty members were “almost exclusively to Democratic candidates and committees.”
Upon their analysis of Federal Elections Commissions voter registration and political donation data of some 12,300 college professors at universities in 31 states and the District of Columbia during the past two election cycles in 2015-16 and 2017-18, the two researchers found that professors donated to Democrats more than Republicans by a 95:1 ratio. Nearly half of those professors are registered Democrats, while only 5.7 percent are registered Republicans.
In terms of academic fields, the study found that economic professors have the lowest Democrat–Republican (D–R) donor ratio at 17:1. The three academic fields with the highest D–R donor ratio are English (244:1), Anthropology (214:1), and Psychology (184.1). Sociology professors, although having a high D–R registration ratio at 27:1, have a disproportionately low D–R donor ratio (31:1).
When it comes to gender differences, the D–R donation ratio for female professors (216.0:1) was considerably higher than the D–R donation ratio among male professors (67.5:1).
The two authors also highlighted a series of limitations in their research. For example, a good number of college professors are not registered as a member of either major political party. Many professors arent even registered to vote. Registration data is also unavailable for those who are not U.S. citizens, and those based in non–U.S. universities. More importantly, 20 states deny public access to the registration data or simply do not collect it at all.