Maggie Gallagher
Quick: What proportion of Ivy League professors are conservative?

Zero percent.

That's right. Not a single, solitary one of the nation's elite professors in a recent poll by Luntz Research Associates (commissioned by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and available at took the right-wing label. Six percent said they were somewhat conservative, 23 percent were moderates, 30 percent somewhat liberal and 34 percent liberal, with a margin of error of 8 percent.

While the country split virtually even between Gore and Bush in the 2000 vote, 84 percent of Ivy profs voted for Gore. Almost as many (6 percent) voted for Ralph Nader as George Bush (9 percent).

Perhaps equally troubling, from an educational and intellectual standpoint, is the relative uniformity of religious preference, or lack thereof. Just one out of five professors attended religious services at least once a week. Forty-eight percent said they rarely or never attended a religious service.

Only 13 percent of Ivy profs support tax cuts. One percent want a legal ban on abortion. Sixty-one percent think the federal government should do more to solve problems, rather than individuals, communities and private enterprise. Seventy-four percent oppose spending money on a missile defense system.

On the other hand, 78 percent support merit pay for teachers (Why do I suspect they were talking about themselves and not high school teachers?). And reflecting perhaps the new patriotism, 71 percent of Ivy League faculty support programs allowing the military to recruit officers on campus, and 68 percent want spy agencies such as the CIA to be allowed to recruit on campus.

Does ivy-covered bias matter? Who cares what happens on a handful of self-important ivy-covered campuses? I do, and so should you.

In the first place, academia has as rigid a hierarchy of status as the military, and a handful of top schools not only set the tone for the nation's academics, but they also train and influence the next generation of American leaders. What educated elites think has always had, in the long run, a disproportionate influence over cultural progress -- or regress.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.