How can a deep blue campus go purple? By a statistical fluke.
The Huffington Post reports that Boston College  faculty donations to Republican candidates went from 6 percent of the total given in 2008 to 62 percent in the current election cycle but they left a few variables out of their calculation. “First, a donation of $500 must be neglected as it was made by a graduate student, not a faculty member, of BC,” Morgan Chalfant reported in The Observer  at Boston College on October 6, 2010. “Though this still leaves 59% of campaign donations to the conservative campaigns, there were actually only a total of four donations made to the Republican campaigns by Boston College faculty.”
“This pales in comparison to the total of twenty-three donations made by BC professors to the liberal campaigns. The reason for this misleading information lies in a single large donation—that of $2,400—made by a professor to a Republican campaign. As this particular sum accounts for 66% of the donations made to conservative campaigns, and thus 38% of the total donations made to campaigns, it is responsible for the false appearance of a ‘shift’ in political viewpoints of BC professors.”
“Thus, one can conclude by glancing at the amount of donations to Democratic campaigns, that the BC campus remains largely liberal.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia .
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org