The perception of a liberal, monolithic student body on today’s college and university campuses needs to change. While critics of higher education often rail against the collegiate enterprise and condemn the left-leaning prejudices of students, the fact of the matter is that the political hearts and minds of our nation’s undergraduates are not overwhelmingly aligned with either major political party. While college and university students today largely reject the Republican Party, they are not heavily supportive of the Democrats either. Instead, most students are Independents and untethered to either major party, suggesting that a huge opportunity exists for whichever party is wise enough to pay attention to the growing number Gen Zers in college today.
A new survey from College Pulse, fielded in September, captures the voices of over 1,500 college students nationally and reveals a deep disconnect between students and both major parties. Most college students do not see themselves as Democrats or Republicans. Thirty-four percent of students surveyed identify as strong or weak Democrats and 11 percent claim to be strong or weak Republicans, leaving the majority — 54 percent — in the middle, identifying as Independents, Leaners, or something else entirely.