While the people of these states crucial to Electoral College success are ideologically divided, the people teaching their college students are decidedly not.
The outcome of the presidential election vote is still in question, but judging from their political donations, it’s all over among college professors in swing states. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has raised more than $9 from faculty and administrators in these swing states for every $1 raised by President Trump.
Employees at the largest universities in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin donated more than $2.2 million to Biden, while Trump collected only $219,000, according to Federal Election Commission data of donors who listed their employers.
When the data are expanded to all federal candidates, the disparity grows even larger. In swing states, faculty donated $11.2 million to Democratic federal candidates, compared with $596,000 collected by Republicans. In other words, Democrats raised 95 percent of all the funds collected from faculty members in America’s most politically competitive states.
Even former Democratic presidential candidates have outdone Republicans in this regard. Democratic candidates such as former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg and senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren exited the presidential race earlier this year. But each has raised more money from swing-state university employees than Trump’s total through October 15.
In many states, professors have given more money to Democratic Senate candidates in other states than they have to Trump. For instance, faculty in the University of Wisconsin system have contributed more to Doug Jones of Alabama, Mark Kelly of Arizona, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Jon Ossoff of Georgia, Theresa Greenfield of Iowa, Amy McGrath of Kentucky, Sara Gideon of Maine, Gary Peters of Michigan, Cal Cunningham of North Carolina, and Jaime Harrison of South Carolina.
Among swing states, Florida has the most pro-Republican professors: 11 percent of their federal donations went to Trump. In every other state, that number fell to fewer than 10 percent, with Wisconsin the lowest at 3 percent.
In terms of raw dollars, faculty in North Carolina ($2.5 million), Michigan ($2.2 million), and Pennsylvania ($2.2 million) led the way for Democrats. In North Carolina, employees of Duke University led the way with $1.12 million donated to Democratic federal candidates. In Pennsylvania, faculty at the University of Pennsylvania contributed $817,000.
By comparison, the most Trump raised from workers at any individual school was $24,000 from the faculty of the University of Florida.
It’s well known that professors and university administrators tend to be progressive in their politics. But the width of the ideological chasm, as demonstrated by these fundraising numbers, is remarkable. These lopsided university-fundraising numbers all come from states Trump won in 2016, in some cases comfortably.
So, while the people of these states crucial to Electoral College success are ideologically divided, the people teaching their college students are decidedly not.