Yale is ready for Hillary — at least according to recent campaign finance filings.
Employees of the University make up the fourth-largest donor group to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton LAW ’73. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, employees from the University have given Clinton more than $95,000 in the current election cycle, more than all but three law firms. However, the available data excludes donations made to super PACs or 501(c)(4) organizations, which do not have the same reporting requirements.
Professors interviewed said the donations from Yale’s faculty and staff members are in line with the historical trend of educators’ support for Democratic candidates, as well as their allegiance to University alumni.
“It does not surprise me,” School of Management professor Rick Antle said. “The main reason why people make donations has to be that they agree with her politics, and her political inclination probably has a good amount of audience at a place like Yale.”
Although tax-exempt educational institutions, including Yale, are prohibited from participating in or donating to political campaigns, educators across the nation have tended to support Democrats in recent elections. In 2012, for example, President Barack Obama received more than $21.6 million from educators, compared to only $3.78 million for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Due to this tendency, as well as Clinton’s personal connection with the University, students, faculty and staff members interviewed were generally unsurprised by the monetary support the University’s employees have provided.
Antle said the deep and personal relationship that Clinton developed with her classmates and professors over the years has contributed to her popularity with Yale-affiliated voters.
“This is a tangible manifestation of the community spirit at Yale,” Antle said.
Antle further added that this is especially true in professional schools like the law school, where students develop friendships based on common interests in their future careers. He noted, however, that the general association of the educational sector with the Democratic Party is not always true. He cited the University of Chicago, where he used to work, as an example of a college with a more conservative environment.
Mitch Weiner, a general building mechanic at the University who identifies as a Republican, said he believes that Ivy League schools usually back liberal candidates, suggesting that professors who have liberal inclinations “corrupt their students.”
Students interviewed, however, had more mixed and moderate views on Clinton.
“I am not surprised [by the support for Clinton],” Eugenia Zhukovsky ’18 said. “From what I understand, Hillary’s values and Yale’s values are pretty similar in many ways.”
However, several students said that Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appears to be a more popular choice among their peers. Zhukovsky said that she supports Sanders because she respect Sanders’ honesty and idealistic view of politics.
Clinton received the Award of Merit from the law school in 2013.