A new Institute of Politics at Harvard University poll released Monday found that only about one-third of young Republicans across the nation feel comfortable sharing their political opinions with their professors.
The poll found that only 35 percent of Republicans between the ages of 18 and 29 felt comfortable sharing their political opinions with their college professors, highlighting a severe disparity when compared to Democrats and independents, who polled at 54 percent and 51 percent, respectively, on sharing views with educators.
On a press call Monday, Harvard sophomore Cathy Sun, who was involved in the creation of the Institute of Politics poll, noted the disparity, saying “the poll results showed that Republicans are far less likely to feel comfortable sharing their political views with their professor.”
The Harvard poll’s results are similar to those found by The College Fix, which reported in September that 73 percent of Republican students have withheld political views in class for fear their grades would suffer.
Conducted between October 15 and 28, the poll interviewed 2,075 individuals between the ages of 18 and 29, and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
16 percent of young Americans think billionaires should not be able to exist in America;
38 percent of young Americans support eliminating private health insurance companies so that all Americans receive health care coverage from the federal government;
40 percent of all 18- to 29- year olds support dismantling the Electoral College to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote is elected president.
When it came to sharing political views, the Harvard poll’s question was one in a series asking in what settings individuals surveyed felt comfortable sharing them.
All three groups are most comfortable sharing opinions with their parents, with independents at 70 percent and Democrats and Republicans both over 80 percent. Among friends, 79 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent independents are comfortable sharing their political views.
But when it comes to the workplace, there was a significant decline across party lines. Democrats felt most comfortable sharing political opinions with work colleagues at 56 percent, while Republicans came in at 49 percent and independents at 42 percent.
“When it comes to sharing political views with parents or friends, we find Democrats and Republicans are overwhelmingly, and nearly equally, comfortable in these situations. However, when it comes to sharing political views in a college setting, significant differences emerge: young Republicans are far less comfortable than those who are Democrats or are unaffiliated,” a news release on the poll stated.
“While in most situations the differences between Democrats and Republicans are between 4 and 7 percentage points — when it comes to professors, the gap is 19 points with only about a third of Republicans saying they feel comfortable sharing their political views.”
The poll also studied various aspects of the Democrat primary and ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. It found that there is an increased optimism among Democratic students about the direction America is headed as the 2020 election nears.
In the lead up to the 2018 midterms, a similar Harvard poll had found that only 22 percent of young Democrats were hopeful. Now, in the midst of the impeachment inquiry and the upcoming Democratic Party presidential primary, that number has jumped to 35 percent, although 65 percent still are fearful about the future.