October 30, 2008

Cornellian Political Views Differ From Those of Swing State Students

Print More

A recent collaboration between the Cornell Survey Research Institute, UWIRE, CBS and the Chronicle of Higher Education produced a study comparing Cornell students’s political views with those of college-aged students in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Colorado.
On the question of which issues are most important to students vote choices, Cornellians ranked nearly every issue lower than swing state voters. Among both swing state voters and Cornell students, the economy and jobs category was chosen as the most important issue. However, only 67 percent of Cornell students called the economy an extremely important issue, whereas at least 73 percent of student voters in each swing state ranked the economy as an issue of extreme importance. For all groups, immigration was least important.
36 percent of students at Cornell report that they really like Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del), whereas 30 to 35 percent of swing state students say that they really like Biden.
On the contrary, 17 to 21 percent of battleground state students said that they really like Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), compared to only seven percent of Cornell students.
While 49 to 60 percent of battleground state students report not liking Palin, 76 percent of Cornellians said that they do not like her.
Another question asked students why they believe each vice-presidential candidate was chosen by their respective running mates. More Cornell students believe that Biden was chosen because he was qualified than believed that Palin was chosen because she was qualified. A majority of Cornell students said that that Palin was chosen simply because she would help Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) win the election.
47 percent of Cornellians and 40 to 43 percent of swing staters said that Sen. Barack Obama’s age would not matter in his ability to be president. Meanwhile, 48 percent of Cornell students and 41 to 44 percent of swing state students said that McCain’s age would make it too difficult for him to serve as president.
24 percent of Cornellians reported that in the classroom, they often talk about politics, and 43 percent said they sometimes do. In the battleground states, 27-32 percent of students often talk about politics, and 36 to 43 sometimes do.
— Sun Staff