Criticisms of American college life split on party lines, Gallup poll shows

Listen 5:41
 In this file photo, students get help from their parents as they move into their dorm rooms on the first floor of Virginia Tech's West Ambler-Johnson dormitory in Blacksburg, Va., Aug. 15, 2007. (Christina O'Connor/AP Photo, file)

In this file photo, students get help from their parents as they move into their dorm rooms on the first floor of Virginia Tech's West Ambler-Johnson dormitory in Blacksburg, Va., Aug. 15, 2007. (Christina O'Connor/AP Photo, file)

NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

Students are beginning to get ready to go back to college….and may find a situation there which itself has not escaped politics. The tragic events in Charlottesville have focused the nation’s attention once again on matters relating to race.

New Gallup analysis underscores research showing that Democrats are 20-plus points more confident in colleges and universities than are Republicans — their negative views are driven by the belief that colleges are too political, too liberal, and too agenda-driven. Democrats have more practical reasons for being negative about colleges (e.g., too expensive).

There is some modified good news for younger students heading back to school, as least as far as their parents are concerned. New updates show that the percentage of U.S. K-12 parents who fear for their children’s safety at school has dropped to 24 percent, a level not seen since before the 2012 Newtown massacre — and way below where it was after Columbine.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.