Barbara Esuoso / Sun Staff Writer

October 25, 2016

Sun Survey Shows Sanders Supporters’ Embrace of Clinton

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While Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) received the largest number of primary votes in last week’s student survey conducted by The Sun, the majority of students said they will now vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Less than half the students surveyed in a second poll conducted last week said they voted in the primaries, but nearly 85 percent of those students said they plan to vote in the general election.

Fifty-seven women and 61 men — including approximately 25 students from each undergraduate class, 10 graduate students and one staff member — participated in this second round of election polling. Participants were asked to fill out anonymous surveys at several locations around campus, including Statler Hall, Mann Library and the Green Dragon.

Of the 118 students surveyed, 57 identified as Democrat, 14 as Republican, 17 as Independent and 30 as unaffiliated. This voter distribution differs slightly from last month’s survey, in which 49 of the 99 students identified as Democrat, 8 as Republican, 11 as Independent and 13 as undecided.

Primary Voters

Three times as many students voted in the Democratic primary as in the Republican primary, but the majority of students said they did not vote at all in the primary.

Thirty of the 45 students who voted in the Democratic primary voted for Sanders, 14 for Clinton and one for former Gov. Martin O’Mally (D-MD).

Of the 13 republicans who cast ballots in the primary election, Trump and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) tied for the most votes.


Of the students who said they did not vote in the primary, 21 said they were not registered for either major party and 13 said they had little interest in voting. Seven students said they were not 18 at the time of their state primary.

Nineteen students said they did not vote in the primary due to the complicated process of acquiring an absentee ballot. Nine of those students said they tried to submit absentee ballots but were “ultimately unable to.”

General Election

Of the 98 students who intend to vote in the general election, 71 percent said they will cast ballots for Clinton, eight percent for Trump, 11 percent for a third party, eight percent undecided and two percent for a write-in candidate.

Last week’s survey revealed a decrease in the number of undecided students since the first election poll, with the number of voters who will vote in the general election increasing from 10 to 17 percent.

Of the 30 students who indicated that they had voted for Sanders in the primary, 21 said they intend to vote for Clinton, six for Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, and three remain undecided.


Of the nine students who voted in the Republican primary for candidates other than Trump, only three said they intend to vote for Trump in the general election. Two former Kasich supporters and one former Rubio supporter said they will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, one Rubio supporter is undecided and one intends to vote for a write-in candidate.

Additionally, 40 students who did not vote in the primary said they intend to vote in the general election. Most of them plan to vote for Clinton.

Twelve students indicated that the candidate they intend to vote for has changed since the beginning of the presidential debates last month. A former Trump supporter said he has since realized that “Trump is not a viable presidential model.”

As a result of the debates, two students indicated they will no longer vote for either Trump or Clinton due to a “lack of trust in either party candidate.” Meanwhile, several others have switched their stance to support the two major party candidates.

The Sun intends to conduct a survey to see if the number of undecided voters decreases over the next two weeks, as the general election approaches, and one final survey after the election has concluded.

Barbara Esuoso ’19, Rebecca Even ’18, Drew Musto ’19, Henry Kanengiser ’18 contributed reporting.