WASHINGTON, DC– America’s college students have no plans on sitting out the 2004 election according to a new survey by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). But they do sometimes sit on their hands in class, chilled by the political persuasion of their professors.
Toward the end of 2003, IWF conducted an internet study of the attitudes and political ideologies of a nationally representative sample of 727 college men and women between the ages of 18 and 24. Key findings include:
- 74 percent are currently registered to vote. More than half of the rest plan to register.Eighty-four percent plan to vote in the upcoming election.
- When asked whether they approve “of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President,” fully half (50%) approve.
- Forty percent of students agree that job creation and economic growth is “the single most important issue.”
- More than one-third of respondents report their professors to be either very liberal (12%) or somewhat liberal (25%). This is in stark contrast to the 13% of students who characterize their professors as conservative. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of students state their professors express their political views during class.
- Sixteen percent of respondents say they feared their grade could suffer for disagreeing with a professor’s political point of view. Nearly one-quarter (23%) say they have been afraid to speak up in class because they did not agree with the professor. And nearly one-third (31%) say they have been required to take a philosophical position they were uncomfortable with for an assignment.
The Independent Women’s Forum, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.