Numerous polls show partisan splits on questions of fact, policy, and value. But multiple readers have noted this eyebrow-raising survey from the Pew Research Center, which finds a majority of Republicans now saying colleges and universities have a negative effect on our country.
- 36% of the public says that “colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country.”
- 19% of Democrats and Democratic leaners view colleges and universities negatively.
- 58% of Republicans and Republican leaners view colleges and universities negatively.
Past Pew research has found Republicans more suspicious of universities than Democrats for years. But Republican opinion of universities took a nosedive in the last two years:
How, in two years, does a group go from holding a majority opinion in favor of colleges and universities to a majority opinion opposed to institutions of higher education?
A majority of South Dakotans live in counties with a college or university. South Dakota state government is spending $770 million this year on public universities. Think about those universities in your neighborhood, universities supported by your money, schools that many of us attended and to which we may be sending our kids. If you are among that 58% of Republicans or 19% of Democrats, tell me what harm those institutions do that outweighs their benefits. Tell me how SDSU, USD, DSU, Northern, Black Hills State, and Mines hurt South Dakota.