Harvard University students told Fox News whether they identified as Democrat or Republican and shared their reasoning ahead of the November midterm elections.
“I identify Democrat only on social issues,” one student from South Carolina said, citing his support for their stance on women’s rights and marriage equality. “But it doesn’t mean that I agree with everything that the Democratic Party does.”
But Kyle, a Connecticut Republican, said: “I’m all about personal freedom, personal liberty, and I think the Republican Party wins on those issues. That’s not to say that I don’t agree with some more progressive issues.”
About half of the eligible youth voters (ages 18-29) turned out for the 2020 election, an 11-point increase from 2016, according to a 2021 Tufts University analysis. And a Harvard Kennedy poll found in April that November’s midterms were on track to match 2018’s record youth voter turnout. It also showed that young voters prefer Democratic control, 55%-34%.
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“The parties have gone so far to the right, so far to the left, that it’s very difficult to identify with one particular party,” Michael, who called himself an Independent, said.
Hunter, from New Jersey, told Fox News he’s a registered Republican, but also identifies as Independent.
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“It’s the traditional cop-out answer, but I do think there’s some merit in being fiscally Republican, socially liberal,” Hunter said.
One Harvard student similarly said she identifies as an Independent, citing policy stances on each side that she supports ahead of the midterm elections.
“I don’t like to identify with either just because I feel like, depending on the policy, my views could change,” the student said.
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“I do feel like there are some issues like education where Republicans do get it right,” she said, citing her support for school choice. “But when you look at other issues like immigration reform, I would consider myself more liberal.”
Yet Kyle told Fox News many students and faculty fear speaking out about their political views, particularly if they lean conservative, at a liberal institution like Harvard University.
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A Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression survey of nearly 45,000 students across 200 colleges ranked Harvard as the 34th worst school for free speech for the current school year. Additionally, over 80% of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences leaned liberal while 1.46% identified conservative, according to an April survey by the Harvard Crimson.
“I think when you say you identify with one party or the other, people come to a lot of assumptions on every policy issue,” Kyle said. “Sometimes people don’t want to identify one or the other.”
“There isn’t enough representation of conservatives and Republicans” at Harvard, Kyle told Fox News. “There are two parties in Washington. There are two parties in government.”
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