Did college admins, faculty help swing midterm results?
- Young voter turnout, including college students, in Tuesday's midterm elections was unprecedented.
- Campus Reform crunched the numbers to determine how college faculty and administrators could have influenced these key voters.
With Election Day now past, polls showed that young voter turnout was unprecedented, meaning that college students showed up to vote in record numbers. Campus Reform analyses suggest the influence that college faculty and administrators could have had on these key voters.
A series of Campus Reform analyses show that college students in multiple states, including the deeply red states of Texas, Missouri, and Georgia, are exposed to a far greater number of Democrat supporting, politically active college faculty and administrators than Republican supporting ones.
Campus Reform researchers analyzed publically available donation records from the Federal Election Committee (FEC) to calculate the percentage of politically active college faculty and administrators in states with key Senate, House, and gubernatorial races: Florida, Texas, Missouri, Oregon, and Georgia.
University of Oregon faculty members donated a total of $65,632.91 to politicians or political organizations. They contributed 99.946 percent of the money to Democrat politicians or organizations. Just $35.17, .0005 percent of donations, went to Republican causes or politicians, like House Speaker Paul Ryan.
UO administrators donated $10,014.60 to Democrat political candidates and politicians. There were no donations made by UO administrators to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.
University of Georgia 100 percent of all UGA administrators gave to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, while 67.9 percent of faculty members donated Democrats with just 32.1 percent of donations to Republican causes or politicians.
University Texas System (UT) faculty members donated 93.5 percent to Democrat politicians or political organizations. Just 6.5 percent of faculty donations went to Republican politicians or Republican causes.
Over 96 percent of administrators at UT schools gave to Democrat political candidates and politicians. While only three UT administrators gave to Republican politicians or organizations from 2017-2018.
The FEC records for all public Florida colleges revealed that 93.55 percent of donating faculty members gave to Democrat politicians or organizations while just 6.45 percent of donations went to Republican causes or politicians, like Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Meanwhile, only four Florida public college administrators donated to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.
University of Missouri records indicate that 97.6 percent of donating faculty members gave money to Democrat politicians or organizations. Just 2.4 percent of donations, given by eight faculty members, went to Republican causes or politicians.
According to the records, there was only one donation made by Mizzou administrators to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.
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. All administrators were individually confirmed using publically available directories maintained by their respective college. 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.