With Florida midterm recount underway, college admin, faculty could affect results
- With Florida midterm recounts underway, a Campus Reform analysis found that an overwhelming majority of faculty and administrators at public Florida colleges contributed financially to Democrat candidates and causes from 2017-2018.
- The data show a clear bias as the Sunshine State saw a record number of young people, including college students, turn out to vote.
- Could this overwhelming institutional bias toward Democrats tip the results of the still too-close-to-call Senate and gubernatorial races?
With the Florida Senate and gubernatorial races still too close to call, statewide recounts reminiscent of the 2000 presidential election chaos are now underway. The stakes could not be higher, as the results will no doubt offer valuable insight into what could transpire in 2020. Regardless of the results, however, one thing is certain: young voter turnout hit a record high. But what impact could this have had on these races, in which a record number of young voters, including college students, participated?
Campus Reform analyzed the donation records of all Florida public college employees from 2017-2018, using publicly available records from the Federal Election Commission, in order to determine the political leanings of faculty and administrators at the college.
According to a Campus Reform analysis, 94 percent of all public Florida administrators who donated to political candidates or causes gave a total of $34,250.12 to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, such as Rep. Stephanie Murphy and the Democratic National Committee.
In total, Florida public college employees donated $587,454.47 from 2017-2018. Of that amount, 94.8 percent were made to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, while just 5.2 percent of the donations were made to Republican politicians or Republican organizations.
Six-hundred ninety-three faculty members, specifically, donated a total of $286.572.34 to politicians or political organizations. They contributed 93.55 percent of the money to Democrat politicians or organizations. Just 6.45 percent of donations went to Republican causes or politicians, like Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Meanwhile, 92 administrators donated $34,250.12 to Democrat political candidates and politicians, such as Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. According to the records, only four Florida public college administrators donated to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.
Swing Left and Act Blue received the highest amount of donations in the Democrat and Democrat category.
For the purposes of this data, Campus Reform defined “faculty” as employees of the college that have direct instructional contact with students, such as professors, teachers, and instructors. “Administrators” were defined as employees who manage programming or are responsible for students and faculty, such as department chairs, deans, presidents, and provosts.
Campus Reform sorted individual donors using their stated position at the college. For example, if the individual donor noted that they were a “professor of literary theory,” they were designated as a faculty member. If an individual noted that they were employed as an “executive director,” they were designated as an administrator. In the event an employee’s title was ambiguous and could not be confirmed, they were marked as general employees, but not sorted into faculty or administration categories. Campus Reform used a variation of keyword searches to cull data specific to University of Oregon System employees.
Campus Reform used the most recent FEC donor records from Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 22, 2018.