This election year has been undoubtedly the most bizarre, paradoxical, and unpopular in America’s history. Polls are showing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at an all time low. A poll on Politico.com shows that as of July 2016 both candidates have a 58 percent unfavorable rating.
Trump has been persecuted for his brash, harsh comments about minorities and women while Clinton has been called hawkish and irresponsible for having close ties to Wall Street.
Millennials, who occupy most colleges and universities across the country, will have a profound effect on how this race turns out, considering they are the largest population alive on the planet and have a continuing influence on America’s future.
The University Chronicle recorded data from a survey taken of 185 students over the course of two weeks to find out how St. Cloud State University students plan on voting, what party they affiliate with, and what they know about a key issue in Minnesota public policy.
According to the survey, 86.5 percent of students said that they will vote in the upcoming election. The number exceeds the national average from a report done by the U.S. Census Bureau tracking the percentage of voter turnout between 18-24-year-olds. Only 38 percent of this age group voted in the 2012 presidential elections.
For those that said they were not planning on casting a ballot in this upcoming election, most stated that they did not want to answer, while the others said they were international students who are not U.S. citizens or they didn’t like either candidate and were hoping for Bernie Sanders.
While the presidential election takes the spotlight on most media outlets, the state of Minnesota has many seats up for grabs in the house and the senate. In areas where SCSU students are represented Senate District 14, 14A along with House District 14B are all up for grabs in 2016. 69.4 percent of students said they plan on voting in state and district elections as well as the presidential election while 30.6 percent said they won’t be participating.
When participants were asked what political party they affiliated with, students at SCSU come from a multitude of backgrounds which means views and perceptions of the world differ among the University’s body, while most colleges and Universities across the country are starting to see students become increasingly liberal. According to the data, 41.7 percent of students identify themselves as Democrat, 36 percent as Republican, 8 percent as Libertarian, 5.6 percent as Green and 8.6 with other various political parties.
A critical topic in local debates across the state of Minnesota has been the bonding bill, which is a bill that would provide money for public infrastructure projects across the state including major renovations in the St. Cloud area. Democrats and Republicans are split on how exactly to spend the money which has caused the Minnesota legislature to engage in a tight gridlock. According to the data, 85.3 percent of SCSU students don’t know anything about the bonding bill while 14.7 percent have heard something about it.