The Winners Are…Democrats!

To give potential students more information about their schools, our NC College Finder website ( lists the political balance (or imbalance) of the faculty for 54 colleges in the state, public and private (all the accredited nonprofit four-year colleges).

While we didn’t determine the party registration of every faculty member (that would be an overwhelming task), we chose two departments whose political representation should give a good picture of the school as a whole—the political science and economics departments.

Specifically, we recorded the number of professors in the political science and economics departments who are registered Democrats and the number who are registered Republicans. The results are shown as ratios. So, for example, a school such as Guilford College has a ratio of 3:2. For every three registered Democrats, there are two registered Republicans. (The absolute numbers might actually be 6:4, but we have reduced them to ratios for ease of comparison.)

Data were collected from the universities’ websites (for the faculty names) and the North Carolina Board of Elections database (for their registrations).

For this study, we did not include unaffiliated voters (of whom there were many) or Libertarians (of whom there were only two—both at Duke.) We omitted unaffiliated voters because of the vague nature of the category. Yes, many professors who register unaffiliated might be moderate, but others might belong to parties that do not have North Carolina registrations; they might be Greens, Constitutionalists, or even Marxists. They might simply be choosing not to advertise their loyalties. In short, it’s problematic to assume any type of pattern about those who don’t register with recognized political parties. The designation “N/A” in some cases indicates that a school does not have an economics or political science department. In other cases, it indicates that no voter registrations were found.

Which schools were the most unbalanced by this measure? The University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Elon University both had a ratio of 14 Democrats to 1 Republican, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville had a ratio of 10 Democrats to zero Republicans.

Were any schools weighted toward Republicans? Yes, a few:  Campbell University (0 Democrats to 3 Republicans); Mid-Atlantic Christian University (0 Democrats to 1 Republican), Montreat College (also 0 to1) and Southeastern College (0 to 2).

The table below shows the results.

Ratio of Democrats to Republicans at North Carolina Colleges and Universities