Campus Reform took the top 50 largest public and private four-year colleges in the nation to determine the political leanings of the 2019 commencement speakers.
In unusual fashion, colleges appear to be choosing more politically diverse speakers than in the past by selecting a near equal amount of conservatives and liberals as well as a significant amount of neutral and seemingly apolitical speakers.
This year, among the 50 largest institutions, a majority of the speakers are seemingly nonpolitical or at least not very vocal about their political views. Only 26 speakers had a measurable lean to the right or to the left; 15 being liberal and 11 being conservative.
[RELATED: Liberals hold 4:1 edge among 2018 commencement speakers]
Some liberals of note include 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and CNN host Fareed Zakaria.
Vice President Mike Pence, Florida State Rep. Chip La Marca, and Robert McDonald, the Obama-appointed U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs were just a few self-identified Republicans among this year’s right-leaning commencement speakers.
[RELATED: 2017 Dems dominate commencement despite defeat at the polls]
Liberals had outnumbered conservative-leaning speakers 4:1 in 2018 and Democrat Senators spoke at nine commencements compared to just four Republican senators in 2017.
Online colleges as well as those that selected graduating students or college presidents as the commencement speakers were not included. Colleges with no apparent speaker or those that only had speakers listed for department ceremonies were also not included in the final total.
To determine a speaker’s political leanings, Campus Reform consulted the individual’s public statements as well as their political donation records as indicated by the Federal Election Commission.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=12225