According to a new Pew Research Center study, 58% of Republicans say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country.
This marks a 45 percent increase from last year’s study. Comparatively, 72 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents say higher education has a positive impact on the country.
As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities. In September 2015, 54% of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country; 37% rated their impact negatively.
By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). 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.
Among Republicans, there is an ideological gap in views of the impact of colleges and universities and other institutions: Nearly two-thirds of conservative Republicans (65%) say colleges are having a negative impact, compared with just 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans.
Fifty-five percent of the general population was also found to think positively of higher education. The research center surveyed 2,504 adults across the country last month.
Little change in overall public views of the impact of nation’s institutions
Never forget, Donald Trump loves the “poorly educated”.