Data Interactive by Ian McKenzie, Daily Web Developer
During the leadup to the presidential election, The Michigan Daily is polling students about campaign issues every two weeks. This is the first iteration of the survey.
This week, the survey was sent to 1,000 University of Michigan students and received 154 responses over a period of four days. The sample was chosen randomly from University undergraduates and reported in the aggregate.
When asked whom they would vote for if the election were today, given the two main party candidates, respondents overwhelmingly favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican nominee Donald Trump by a margin of 80 percent to 9 percent. 11 percent said they planned to vote for “other.”
When given the option to vote for third-party candidates such as Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, main party candidates lost nearly equal amounts of support, with Clinton dropping to 75 percent and Trump to 6 percent. Johnson received 13 percent and Stein 3 percent, with 3 percent of respondents still choosing other. This contrasts with the statewide polls for Michigan, which cite Clinton at 43 percent, Trump at 37.8 percent, Johnson at 7.3 percent and Stein receiving 2.8 percent.
The support of alternative candidates on campus mirrors a local trend in the GOP primary — Ohio Gov. John Kasich received the majority of votes in Washtenaw County, though Trump easily carried the state overall.
The University’s chapter of College Republicans President Enrique Zalamea told the Daily Trump’s low polling numbers on campus give them further reason to campaign.
“When the Republican National Committee rallied to support Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election, it became our duty to do so as well. We will not let the polls of our fellow students deter us from our campaigning, nor lessen our conviction that supporting Donald Trump is what is best for the Republican party and the nation,” Zalamea said. “If anything, the information you provided from this poll will motivate us further to get people out to vote, to spread the word, and to fight to prevent Hillary Clinton from reaching the oval office.”
Both Stein and Johnson are on the Michigan ballot for the election.
The high percentage of students favoring Clinton can be seen in her heightened presence on campus, with an active Students for Hillary chapter and the University’s chapter of College Democrats’ promotion of her events since endorsing her on July 12 following her primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I) dropping from the race. Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine recently visited campus for a speech and rally on the Diag. In comparison, the College Republicans only endorsed Trump on Sunday, and the Students for Trump chapter has since become inactive.
College Democrat Taiwo Dosunmu wrote in an email interview with The Michigan Daily that he wasn’t shocked by the survey results.
“The results of the survey indicating overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton among students are not surprising given the immense impact this election will have on the future of our country and the stark contrast between the two candidates,” he wrote. “Students understand that, on every substantive issue, Hillary Clinton will make the right choices for them– especially related to higher education. Considering her progressive plans focused specifically on students, like debt-free college for all and tuition-free college for families making less than $125,000 a year, students recognize that Hillary is the ally they need in the White House.”
In terms of voting habits overall, regardless of who they chose to vote for, 73 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” vote in the upcoming election. Another 16 percent stating they “probably” would and just 3 percent stated they “definitely would not” vote.
Eighty-six percent of survey respondents were registered to vote, 13 percent were not and one respondent was too young to vote. A majority of those registered — 79 percent — are registered in Michigan. Voting rates among students are traditionally low, with only 45% of young people voting in the presidential election.