Poll: Less than half of US adults have strong confidence in higher education
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Fewer than half of U.S. adults have strong confidence in higher education, driven in part by Republicans who say colleges and universities promote liberal politics, according to new polling figures from Gallup.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said they have either "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education, marking a decline of 9 percentage points since 2015 and the biggest drop in confidence for any U.S. institution over the past three years. The next largest drop was in organized religion.

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Confidence in higher education declined the most among Republicans, dropping 17 points since 2015. Democrats and independents also lost confidence, with decreases of 6 points and 4 points, respectively.

Gallup said the decline was most stark among Republicans who view colleges as promoting a liberal political agenda.

Overall, Americans had more confidence in colleges and universities than in other U.S. institutions such as the presidency, the Supreme Court, public schools and organized labor.

The military, small businesses and the police were ranked above colleges and universities.

Polling was conducted by phone from June 1-13 with a random sample of 1,520 U.S. adults. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

-- Updated 9:56 p.m.