THE conservative politics of college campuses in the...

Salmagundi

April 16, 1993

THE conservative politics of college campuses in the Reagan Years have clearly given way to a more liberal outlook, at least at the eight Ivy League schools. That's the conclusion reached in a new survey of 3,119 students at those colleges, according to a recent Associated Press report.

The survey found, for example, that:

* 59 percent voted for Bill Clinton, 15 percent for George Bush and 6 percent for Perot.

* 73 percent favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military.

* 56 percent would ban all private ownership of handguns.

* 84 percent support abortion rights.

* 73 percent favor raising taxes on those with annual incomes in excess of $150,000; 65 percent favor "significant increase in social spending"; 68 percent supported government subsidized health care, and 59 percent favor affirmative action.

However, showing their conservative sides, 75 percent support a balanced budget amendment, 67 percent support term limits and 67 percent back public school choice.

There were also some downright embarrassing results, political views notwithstanding. For example:

* 50 percent could not name their two U.S senators.

* 59 percent could not name at least four Supreme Court justices.

* 75 percent did not know who wrote the words "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." (Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, though the line comes from Daniel Webster's "the people's government, made for the people, made by the people and answerable to the people.")

* 44 percent could not name the speaker of the U.S. House. (Thomas Foley.)

* 36 percent could not say who followed the vice president in the line of presidential succession. (The House speaker.)

* 11 percent could not name the author of the Declaration of Independence. (Thomas Jefferson.)

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