An annual survey by the Pew Research Center on Americans' views of national institutions, released this week, found a dramatic attitude shift on higher education among Republicans and people who lean Republican, with the change occurring across most demographic and ideological groups. Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.
Overall, when the negative ratings are subtracted from the positive ratings, Republicans have a net -22 percentage approval of universities, whereas Democrats have a net +53 percent approval.
Eighty-five percent of Republicans have a negative view of the national news media compared to 44 percent of Democrats.
Why surprising? Because the media is overwhelmingly liberally biased.
Conservative Republicans are more likely to have a negative view of institutions of higher education than moderate Republicans.
The results for Republicans is a stark contrast with Democrats, who overwhelmingly backed the positive impact college education has.
Fifty-nine percent of Democrats think labor unions have a positive effect, compared to just 33 percent of Republicans who feel the same way.
White evangelical Protestant Christians were most likely (80 percent) to view religious institutions positively, along with majorities across Protestant and Catholic denominations, according to the study.
Donald Trump tended to appeal to those in the struggling rustbelt area, but Hillary Clinton got masses of support from college-educated families.
73 percent of Republicans have a positive outlook on churches/religious organizations.
Complete findings from the survey.
Younger Republicans still have more positive views of colleges than older Republicans, but the share of those under 50 who view colleges positively has fallen 21 points (from 65 percent to 44 percent) since 2015. This may be why Republicans are increasingly keen to disapprove of colleges, as they see them as bastions of liberal thinking.