“Crashing the Conservative Party” in January 2023 PAW quantified a decline in Princeton students admitting to The Daily Princetonian they were voting Republican. Just as City Hall Republican voters in Chicago may be shy on polling (if they want to keep their jobs), I suspect the decline has a similar explanation. The percent of undergrads getting financial aid has risen sharply since the 1970s, and given how expensive it would be to pay for Princeton out-of-pocket now versus the 1970s it’s possible lots of students saying they’ll vote Democrat are lying, or perhaps the “missing” students not responding to the poll are GOP. If I were afraid of losing financial aid and not being able to graduate, and suspected that “cancel the non-woke” types on The Daily Princetonian might “out” me, I’d be a shy Republican too.
Another possibility is lots of non-left students avoid Princeton and go to places like the University of Chicago (ranked number one out of slightly over 200 institutions on free speech compared to Princeton’s abysmal 169 and Harvard’s 170), Carnegie-Mellon, University of Rochester, and other non-Keynesian institutions, or if their emphasis is Catholicism, Notre Dame is not only more conservative than Georgetown but has surpassed Georgetown in the U.S. News rankings. An even more dismal possibility is that the application and interview process itself increasingly excludes conservatives and/or libertarians if they intend to major in a social science and admit their true beliefs.