November 7, 2016

Poll: Students Choose Clinton in Droves

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The majority of students who participated in The Sun’s 2016 election polling said they intend to vote for the Democratic candidate, Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

In total, 167 women, 154 men, and four gender nonconforming people were polled in the three rounds of surveys — conducted during the weeks of Sept. 21, Oct. 17 and 31 — comprised of approximately 80 students from each undergraduate class. Participants were asked to fill out anonymous surveys at several locations around campus, including Statler Hall, Mann Library and the Green Dragon cafe.

Of the 325 students voting, 173 identified as Democrats, 26 as Republicans and 126 as unaffiliated. A total of 233 students surveyed said they have already or intend to vote in the general election. A much higher percentage of students surveyed — nearly 70 percent — plan to vote in the general election, or have already done so via absentee ballot, than the 40 percent that said they voted in the primary.

Primary trends

Of the students surveyed, 88 said they voted in the democratic primary. 49 of the democratic primary voters said they voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), 37 said they voted for Clinton, and two said they voted for former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD).

Of the 15 students who said they voted in the Republican party, six voted for Trump, five for Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), three for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and one voted for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).

General Election

With 195 students of the 325 students pledging support to Clinton, only 13 said they intend to vote for Donald Trump. Additionally, 17 students intend to vote for a third party — eight for Green Party candidate Stein and nine for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Thirty seven of the students who said they voted for Sanders in the primary stated that they intend to vote for Clinton. Of the remaining 12, six are voting for Stein, one for Johnson, two are not going to vote, and two are unsure who they intend to vote for.

Of the five Kasich supporters in the primary, two intend to vote for Trump in the general election, two intend to vote for Johnson, and one is voting for Clinton. All six of the Trump supporters intend to continue supporting him in the general election.

Additionally, the one primary supporter of Cruz intends to vote for Trump, while none of the three Rubio supporters say they will vote for Trump — one is voting for Johnson, one is writing in a candidate, and the third has not decided if they are going to vote.

Forty five students polled said they do not intend to vote in the general election. Twenty seven said they do not intend to because they are not politically involved, while eight stated that they “do not like either major party candidate running in this election.” An additional three non-voters said they are choosing not to cast a ballot because they do not think “the president will shape the future of American democracy, and four are not voting because they think “politics is corrupt.”


Sixty nine percent of female voters interviewed said they intend to vote for Clinton, while a slightly lower percentage of 53 percent of men plan to vote for her. A significantly larger percentage of men said they intend to vote third party than women — while eight percent of male students said they intend to vote third party, only about 2.5 percent of female students interviewed support a third party candidate.

While the number of voters surveyed who are unsure who they intend to vote for, or if they intend to vote, is similar at 17 percent for both genders, almost double the number of men surveyed said they do not intend to vote than women, with 15 percent of men not voting and seven percent of women not voting.

Undecided Voters

The number of undecided voters decreased over the course of the past month and a half, a trend that has also been noted nationally. During the week of Sept. 21, 21 students surveyed were unsure of who they intended to vote for or if they planned to cast a vote, while 17 students surveyed the week of Oct. 17 said they were still undecided, and by last week, only 11 students surveyed remained undecided.


As the election approaches, the number of undecided students polled has decreased.


With the majority of students surveyed planning to vote for Clinton on Tuesday, The Sun’s next poll will examine whether Cornellians’ voting intentions resemble the voting patterns of the U.S. population in this presidential election.

Barbara Esuoso ’19, Rebecca Even ’18, Drew Musto ’19 and Henry Kanengiser ’18 contributed reporting to this article.