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The 2006 freshman norms are based on the responses of 271,441 first-time, full-time students at 393 of the nation’s baccalaureate colleges and universities.

UCLA’s annual survey of the nation’s entering undergraduates finds incoming college students more divided on politics and abortion.

As more freshmen report that they discussed politics frequently as high school seniors, 43.1 percent identified themselves as “middle-of-the-road,” the lowest mark since first measured by the research program in 1970.

Additionally, the percentage of students identifying as “liberal” (28.4 percent) is at its highest level since 1975 (30.7 percent), and those identifying as “conservative” (23.9 percent) is at its highest level in the history of the Freshman Survey, now in its 40th year.

While 78.4 percent of liberal freshmen support legalized abortion, only 31.8 percent of conservative students do.

Middle-of-the-road freshmen come in at 56.3 percent.