Before the voice tapes were released by the Washington Post that revealed obscene comments by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, The Razor conducted a school-wide survey to determine campus opinion on the presidential election. Although few students at Hopkins can vote in the general elections, they form a large part of student everyday conversations. “Election years are always exciting, although this one has a different atmosphere,” said Lilly Tipton ’18. Many people are concerned about the future of our country.
Nation-wide election polls have shown that the election could go in any direction. Here’s a look at politics from the point of view of The Hill.
Submitted replies came in from 401 students, representing 56% of the student population at Hopkins. The results put Hillary Clinton in the lead with 58.8%, while Donald Trump placed second at 25.6%.
The survey also recorded the respondents’ respective grades. A breakdown by grade showed that tenth graders formed the greatest percentage of Hillary Clinton supporters, while eleventh graders had the greatest percentage of Donald Trump supporters.
What role did the first debate play?
In 23 cases, the debates altered only 6% of the respondents’ opinions about the candidates whom they supported. However, the data shows that Hillary Clinton gained 1% of respondents’ support while Donald Trump lost 1% of respondents’ support.
Interestingly, the debate also altered people’s opinions about third party candidates. Gary Johnson gained 1.3% of respondents’ support while Jill Stein lost 0.2% of respondents’ support.
“The debate brought out the differences between the two candidates. It showed their differences in preparation, thoughtfulness, and clarity,” said Veronica Yarovinsky ’20.
How satisfied are people with the candidates?
Only 59% of respondents replied to the question: “Which candidate do you currently support?” In addition, many respondents commented that they do not like any of the candidates and are simply choosing the better of two evils.
However, some respondents harbor strong opinions about their favorite presidential candidate. “Donald Trump is not fit to be president. He has no idea how to run a country, no idea what sacrifice is, no idea when to shut his mouth, and would not be here if he weren’t a stuck up, over-privileged, disgrace to society, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and given a Bugatti to drive the road of life that was paved for him long before he was born,” said Jason Alfandre ‘18.
Ethan Silver ’19 shared a similar view of Donald Trump: “In a position in which the best and the brightest of our proud nation have served since the Revolution, it would be a disgrace to our history if we were to allow a divisive, bigoted, constantly lying, aggressive, ignorant, and short tempered man such as Donald J. Trump. His rise to political power causes me to fear for the future and feel ashamed of our people like no one else ever has.”
Although a smaller percentage, some students disagree with Hillary Clinton. David Tsnobiladze ’17 said, “I don’t care about Trump’s inability to release his tax returns or even pay any federal taxes as long as it’s legal. Clinton has broken laws and continues to withhold emails. What does she have to hide?”
Out of respondents, 16.5% mentioned that they support third party candidates. Audrey Millar ’20 said, “I support Gary Johnson because he is a great choice if you’re not looking for extremes. He has experience as governor of New Mexico and is more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. He also knows how to appropriately reduce taxes to help America’s financial issues. His ideas are a mix of Trump’s and Hillary’s, so if someone wants an in between, he seems like the choice.”
Several students replied that they wished Bernie were still a candidate. “I believe Bernie Sanders deserved to be president because he put forward ideas that were different and helpful. If he had won the primary, I believe that he would have had an even better chance at winning the election than Hillary Clinton,” said Beth Hartog ’19.
Could Hillary Clinton be the first woman president?
When asked to choose between just the Democratic and Republican candidates, Hillary Clinton maintained her lead with 67.2% of the answers. However, this statistic represents only 57.1% of ballots, as many students opted out of answering this question.
Yet Hillary’s lead shows that she has a strong chance to become a historic figure. Silver said, “It would be a glorious day if she is elected the first woman president of America. At this point, a huge hurdle would be surmounted in our quest for equality and prosperity in America.”