I teach at the University of Toledo. Yesterday, as class was beginning, I asked my students who had registered to vote...and enocouraged those who had not to do so, and gave them brief directions.
A student asked, "Who are you voting for?" I told her that I would not tell them that. The entire class protested and begged me to tell them. I said, "I do have strong political leanings, but it's my policy not to share them with my students because I don't want you to feel that you can only say things in class that agree with my feelings and ideas..."
The protest continued, and I moved to change the subject and regain control of the class, when two students in the back of the room chimed in: "We think you are a Republican because you are not trying to tell us who to vote for like all of our other professors."
The rest of the class told me their stories: How their other three or four profs all spend class time discussing their personal feelings and thoughts about the candidates; how one professor forced students to declare whom they were voting for publicly in the class and why, then slammed the reasons given by any McCain supporters...
"So," I said, " because I am encouraging you to exercise your citizenship in a democracy, no matter who you vote for, and because I am not attempting to indoctrinate you into my line of thinking, you have inferred that I am a Republican?"
Pretty damned logical.
Hard to feel like you can "win" when the other side sees nothing unethical about using their math and nursing classes to spew their rhetoric to a captive audience that has been socialized to admire and believe teachers.