Polling the Class of 2003

At my reunion, they distributed the results of a survey of the Class of 2003 that's based on a healthily sized, though not-really-random, sample of the class. On the politically relevant points, 66 percent call themselves Democrats, 13 percent say Independent, 8 percent say Republican and the rest have sundry other self-descriptions. 19 percent are very liberal, 44 percent somewhat liberal, 27 percent in the middle, 8 percent somewhat conservative, and just 0.9 percent very conservative. A staggering 93 percent say they're "dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the United States. And in a poll of candidate preferences taken before Obama locked up the nomination, 59 percent preferred him, 18 percent liked Hillary, and 13.1 percent liked McCain.

Basically -- it's a liberal group. Perhaps not so surprisingly. Somewhat more surprising, though, is that the margin of people who say they've become more liberal since graduating (15 percent) is bigger than the margin who say they've become more conservative (12 percent). That's in line with one's sense of where the country's moved over the past five years, but goes against the stereotype of students shifting right when they encounter the "real world."