In 2020, education professionals give 2.5x their 2016 political donations

  • According to data compiled by Open Secrets, education professionals gave $237 million in political donations during the 2020 election cycle.
  • They only gave $90.5 million in 2016, less than 40 percent of this cycle’s contributions.

Education professionals ramped up their political contributions to record highs during the 2020 election cycle.

According to data on individual contributions compiled by Open Secrets, individuals associated with the higher education industry donated nearly $237.2 million to political campaigns during the 2019-2020 election cycle. 

However, they only contributed 38 percent of this amount — $90.5 million — in 2016, the last presidential election year. Although contributions have been historically lower in midterm election years, educators donated more to 2018 campaigns than 2016 campaigns.

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During the 2020 cycle, educators gave $215.5 million to Democrats and $19.6 million to Republicans, meaning that Democrats received nearly 92 percent of donations from the sector.

As Open Secrets confirms, the education industry “dramatically favors liberals and has become more liberal in preference as the industry has spent more money.” Democrats have not “received under 70 percent of education industry donations in a cycle since 2002.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received $52.4 million, with former Democratic contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren receiving $16.6 million and $11.8 million, respectively. Other popular recipients among educators included Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In comparison, President Donald Trump — the only Republican to cross the top 20 recipients of funding — took nearly $5.8 million from educators.

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Individuals tied to the University of California system contributed the most funds to political campaigns, donating a total of $11 million. Harvard University, Stanford University, and Columbia University followed, with $4.2 million, $4.1 million, and $2.6 million in contributions, respectively.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft

“dramatically favors liberals and has become more liberal in preference as the industry has spent more money.”   



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Ben Zeisloft
Benjamin Zeisloft | Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent

Benjamin Zeisloft is a Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. He is studying Finance and Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin also writes for The UPenn Statesman and the Wharton International Business Review.

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