Though Clinton ranks above Trump in DE poll, SIU students aren’t happy with options

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Though Clinton ranks above Trump in DE poll, SIU students aren’t happy with options

From left: Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Donald Trump. (TNS photographs)

From left: Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Donald Trump. (TNS photographs)

From left: Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Donald Trump. (TNS photographs)

From left: Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Donald Trump. (TNS photographs)

By Shannon Allen

Almost twice as many SIU students prefer Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican nominee Donald Trump for a spot in the presidential seat, according to a recent Daily Egyptian poll.

Nearly 87 percent of the students who responded said they already voted or plan to vote in the general election, with 47 percent of those students choosing Clinton.

The poll — conducted via SurveyMonkey and funded by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute — collected 1,054 anonymous responses between Oct. 15 and Friday regarding how students might vote in the upcoming election. It was accessible to all students through SIU online.

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Trump came in second with 28 percent of student votes. Libertarian Gary Johnson came in third with 13 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein came in last with 4 percent.

Clinton has an 86 percent chance of winning the election, while Trump only has a 14 percent chance, according to a Saturday election forecast by FiveThirtyEight, a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis.

Graphic by Andy Phillippe

Graphic by Andy Phillippe

This prediction is also in line with The Associated Press’ Electoral Map Analysis, which on Saturday said Clinton will get 272 votes while Trump will have 179.

John Jackson, a visiting professor at the Simon Institute, said he predicts voter participation will be about the same as the 2012 presidential election between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

“The turnout will be decent, but not record breaking like the 2008 election,” he said.

Jackson said the Daily Egyptian’s poll results were nearly identical to that of the institute’s state-wide poll taken at the beginning of the month, where Clinton came in first with 54 percent and Trump in second with 28 percent.

“The only reason I’m voting for Secretary Clinton is because Mr. Trump is constantly displaying conduct unbecoming a president of the United States…,”one student wrote in the Daily Egyptian survey’s comment section. “If Bernie Sanders was a presidential candidate he would have my vote.”

Another said there needs to be a change from the last eight years under the Obama administration.

“Clinton will be a continuation of his failed policies and may even be worse,” the SIU student wrote. “Trump promotes a much different agenda that promotes job growth, immigration reform and energy independence. It’s time for a change in Washington so get out and vote!”

Jackson said although young people may feel they are choosing between the lesser of two evils, voting is still necessary.

“Young people in 1974 were more actively involved in voting because they knew they could be drafted in the war, and this prompted them to take a stance,” Jackson said. “Young people today just don’t care enough.”

But when looking at what topics they do care about, the poll revealed candidates’ stances on education, immigration and tax reform are the most important to students. Abortion and refugees ranked among the least influential issues.

Many students are still questioning the abilities of Clinton and Trump.

“This election has become a reality show and as we watch history unfold, our descendants will be hard pressed to see the logic and provide a suitable dialog to frame and describe this low point in American politics,” one student wrote.

“I’m sad I waited 18 years to vote to pick between the two current candidates,” another student wrote.

For those who said they would not be voting, 42 percent blamed it on a dislike of all candidates. Others indicated they were too busy, didn’t believe in voting or didn’t not know where to vote or how to register.

But Jackson said these aren’t reasons to forgo voting.

“Those who say they don’t know enough about the candidates or their vote won’t matter just aren’t bothering to do their research,” Jackson said.

Staff writer Shannon Allen can be reached at 618-536-3326, [email protected] or on Twitter @ShannonAllen_DE.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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