Political pulse on campus

Steve Kelly- Staff Writer

As we head into the final few days of the Presidential election, Dordt students are letting their voices be heard. Almost 500 students expressed their opinions in a recent survey conducted by the College Republicans club.

The results are featured below and will be used to guide discussion in an upcoming debate among students. This debate will feature students who are active in politics, and they will be debating whether to vote for one of the two major political parties, a third party, or not at all. This debate will take place Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00pm in SB 1606.

As you take a look at the data, here are a few observations:

* Most students identify as Republicans – This may come as no surprise to most of us, but the data gives us a better understanding of the exact percentage. Three out of four students identifies as Republicans which is a very strong majority.

* Republicans are not completely behind Trump – Only 61% of self-identifying Republicans are set on voting for their nominee, Donald Trump. However, there are still a significant number of undecided voters who could potentially be swayed in his direction.

* A significant percentage is still undecided – This election cycle has led to an increased number of undecided voters. This is a sign that people on both sides of the aisle are frustrated with the candidates they have to choose from.

* Independents do not lean to either side – The two major party candidates only make up 26% of independent voters, a group that normally decides a close election. Half of independent voters would rather not vote at all or remain undecided.

Students were asked at the end of the survey to comment on which issues they would most like to see debated. Most of the responses reflected answers from the previous question about which issues are most important; however, a significant number of students wanted to hear more debate about the national debt and environmental policy, two issues that have received little attention in this election.

A few students saw the open comment section as an opportunity to express their frustrations. One student said “I would just like to see a civil and productive debate, period.” Another wondered “How did we end up with these candidates?”

Our opinions might be set in stone, but perhaps they be changed in the final three weeks of the election. A similar survey will be conducted right before the election to see if tides have changed.

Survey Results:

Which political party do you most closely identify with?

Republican Party ………………..76%

Democratic Party ………………..6%

No Party / Independent ……….15%

Other ………………………………..3%

Which of the following would best describe your political ideology?

Mostly Conservative……………45%

Somewhat conservative ………26%

Moderate …………………………..13%

Somewhat liberal ……………….7%

Mostly liberal …………………….2%

Libertarian …………………………4%

Other ………………………………..2%

Socialist …………………………….1%

Who are you voting for in the Presidential election?

Overall Republicans Democrats Independents Men Women

Trump 48% 61% 0% 16% 52% 47%

Clinton 7% 1% 70% 10% 4% 9%

Johnson 10% 8% 4% 16% 12% 8%

Stein 1% 0% 4% 3% 1% 0%

Unsure 22% 21% 15% 25% 17% 25%

Not voting 8% 5% 4% 25% 8% 8%

Other 4% 4% 4% 4% 5% 3%

Which issues are most important to you in this election?

1. Economy

2. Abortion

3. Foreign Policy

4. Immigration

5. National Debt

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