November 1, 2016 11:27 AM
It shouldn’t be a big surprise. Polling shows that the University of Georgia community favors Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump, according to a survey published by the Red & Black. Clinton is supported by 58%, while Trump is supported by 22%. 9% plan to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson. Enthusiasm for Clinton is stronger among graduate students and faculty members than it is for underclassmen. 48% of Freshmen support Clinton and 29% support Trump. For faculty members, 82% plan to vote for Clinton, while 10% expect to vote for Trump.
Students from metro Atlanta were most likely to vote for Clinton, followed by those from northwest and southeast Georgia. Northeast Georgia students were split in their support, while those from areas roughly corresponding to the 3rd, 8th, and 10th congressional districts slightly favored Clinton over Trump. Those in the 2nd and 12th congressional districts favored Trump.
The Red & Black story highlighted the difficulty some students have had in deciding on a candidate to vote for. Columbus native Mallie Brossett, a Ph.D. candidate in political science, voted for Marco Rubio in the Republican primary, joining 45% of her classmates who voted in the GOP primary. Ted Cruz received 15% of the students GOP primary vote, followed by Trump and Kasich at 14% each. For students voting in the Democratic primary, 64% voted for Bernie Sanders, and 35% voted for Clinton.
Once the primary was over, Brossett found she could not support the Republican nominee.
“I want Trump to lose. I want him to lose badly,” Brossett said. “I want him to lose so badly that the Republican party has to take a look in the mirror and realize we can’t keep doing this to ourselves. We’ve been choosing people who can’t possibly implement the policies we believe in or who don’t represent the values we espouse.”
Next Tuesday, Brossett says she will pull the lever for Hillary Clinton.
For the majority of Sanders voters, deciding to cast a general election ballot for Clinton appeared to be relatively easy.
“I chose Sanders over Clinton because I like his history in regard to racial equality, I prefer his more moderate policy suggestions for gun control, I like his drug policies, and I prefer his economic and tax policies.” said Megan Kriss, a senior international affairs and linguistics major from Acworth. “As for the general election, I’m voting for Clinton. I would vastly prefer her to Trump and, ultimately, the differences in policy between Clinton and Sanders aren’t that huge.”
The survey was conducted between October 3rd and October 9th by the Center for the Study of Global Issues and the Red and Black. Instead of a random sample, emails were sent to every student and faculty member with an email address on file with the university’s registrar. Participation was voluntary, and more than 4,300 responses were received. As such, the survey wasn’t scientific, and no margin of error was calculated.