Pew Poll: Majority of Republicans Think Colleges Have Negative Impact on U.S

Annabel Scott | July 11, 2017 | 11:43am EDT
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(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

( - A Pew Research Study released on July 10 reveals that an increasing majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now say that they believe universities and colleges have a negative effect on our country.

The survey, which looked at the partisan differences over the impact of major institutions on the country (from June 8-18), found that Republican attitudes on the effect of colleges and universities have dramatically changed over a relatively short period of time.

In 2017, 58% of Republicans looked at universities in a negative light, up from 2016’s 45% and 2015’s 37%, showing an 18-point decline in positive opinion.

In contrast, the study found that 72% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they believe college and universities have a positive effect on the United States.

In addition to higher education, the study also looked at the public opinion of the impact of the news media.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents almost spilt even on their opinion of the media with 44% saying they believe the news media has a positive effect on the way things are going in the country, while 46% believe it has a negative effect.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a very different view of the media. In fact, with an 8-to-1 difference between positive and negative opinion of the news media, 85% of Republicans say the media have a negative effect and only 10% say there is a positive impact.

The study also found that, partisan divide aside, the public’s overall evaluations of many categories have seen little change.

When combined, the majority of Americans (59%) say churches and religious organizations have had a positive impact on our country.

Almost half of Americans, 47%, believe labor unions have a positive impact, while 32% view the impact of unions negatively. Additionally, American views of the impact of banks and other financial institutions leaned toward negative with 46%, compared to only 39% positive.

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