An annual survey by the Pew Research Center on Americans' views of national institutions, released this week, found a dramatic attitude shift on higher education among Republicans and people who lean Republican, with the change occurring across most demographic and ideological groups. You can't make this stuff up.
Democratic views on education have remained stable over recent years, but Republican support for college has dropped by almost 45% since 2015.
"Among Republicans, negative views of the news media are shared by large majorities of both conservative Republicans (87%) and moderate and liberal Republicans (80%)". However, once we stop respecting those who search for truth, we enter some scary times. The error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95 percent level of confidence is at +/- 2.3 percentage points.
As conversation around higher education continues to grow louder amid a tense political cycle, we take solace in knowing the skepticism on the importance of attending university is met with basic truth: That the positives of pursuing higher education, in most cases, far outweigh the negative. And although younger Republicans tend to have more favorable views of colleges than their older counterparts, the number of Republicans under 50 years old who view college positively has dropped 21 points since 2015.
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As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities.
Overall, 55% say colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country, second to churches and religious organizations (59% positive) for positive impacts on the nation's life among the five institutions tested in the survey.
73 percent of Republicans have a positive outlook on churches/religious organizations. Now, 44 percent believe the media has a positive effect.