"The number of US university students who hold traditional liberal views increased sharply over the past year, pushed by excitement over the 2004 election and dissatisfaction with George W. Bush's foreign policy."

That's the conclusion of a national poll by Harvard University released earlier this week. Among other findings:

*** The largest group of respondents (36 percent) called themselves independent, while 33 percent said they were Democrats and 28 percent Republicans.

*** 43 percent of college students fell in the liberal category -- supportive of health insurance and abortion rights while opposing Mr. Bush's foreign policy, up 11 percentage points from one year ago.

*** Some 14 per cent of college students were described as traditional conservatives and 21 per cent as religious centrists.

*** Support for the war in Iraq has dropped markedly, from 65 per cent in April 2003 to 44 per cent today.

Seems like the pendulum has definitely changed direction, although we're still a ways from 1971, when 11% of students identified as "radical or far left."