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Majority of Republicans believe colleges have a negative impact

Majority of Republicans believe colleges have a negative impact

It finds that a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now believe that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, while those who identify as Democrats continue to find higher education to have a positive effect on the nation.

A majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning respondents to the poll - 58 percent - "say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% a year ago", Pew reported.

Although Democrats' view of higher education has remained fairly stable over the years, Republican respondents who saw higher education as having a positive impact declined sharply from 54 percent to 36 percent in just the last two years.

"On balance, more liberal Democrats say the national news media has a positive (51%) than negative (39%) impact on the country". The share of Democrats holding a positive view of the news media's impact has increased 11 percentage points since last August (33%).

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Viewers of right-leaning news media might not be surprised by Pew's findings.

White evangelical Protestant Christians were most likely (80 percent) to view religious institutions positively, along with majorities across Protestant and Catholic denominations, according to the study. Only 28 percent of Republicans over 50 say college is good for the country, a drop of 15 points from two years ago.

"Liberal Democrats are about as likely to say the impact of churches and religious organizations is negative (44%) as they are to say it is positive (40%)". Now, 44 percent believe the media has a positive effect. Democrats are more positive about the impact of labor unions on Americans life, and Republicans were more positive about banks and other financial institutions. In an email to Inside Higher Ed, Alison Kadlec, senior vice president and director of higher education and work force engagement for Public Agenda, questioned the reason behind the pessimistic sentiments.

Republicans have an increasingly dim view of colleges and universities and the effect those institutions have on the way things are going in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Monday.

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