Peter Olsen-Phillips, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 2016
It’s no secret that campaign contributions from higher education have favored Democratic candidates for years. When it comes to the current presidential race, however, data show that the gap between left and right has grown from a rift into a chasm.
A Chronicle analysis of Federal Election Commission data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics shows Donald Trump raising a tiny fraction of the campaign money that the previous two Republican nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, drew from higher-education professionals over comparable time periods.
Across higher education, donations in congressional and Senate races showed a ratio of Democratic to Republican giving similar to that of the two previous presidential-campaign cycles. But support for Mr. Trump stood at less than 8 percent of what Senator McCain raised from higher-ed professionals, and around 4 percent of the donations that Mr. Romney pulled in over the same time period, once the figures were adjusted for inflation.
As of June 30, faculty members and others who work in higher education had donated $76,668 to Mr. Trump’s campaign committee and to support “super PACs”–independent committees that can raise and spend unlimited funds. By comparison, people working in academe had given $6.4 million to Hillary Clinton. Those figures account for donations of at least $200 that the Center for Responsive Politics has determined come from people associated with higher education. They are the most-recent figures available.