As the 2018 midterm elections are arriving in less than a week, the Oracle conducted a survey to look into the political makeup of the Blair community.
The results of the survey were compared to the mock vote conducted in 2016 in regards to the presidential election. The survey asked questions about party affiliation, political leaning, views of the 2016 presidential candidates, and questions about hot-button social and economic issues. The survey was released on Tuesday, September 25 and stayed open until Monday, October 1. In total, about 20% of the school responded and the results have an average estimated 4.87% margin of error.
In comparison to the 2016 mock vote, there have not been any significant changes in the views amongst the students and faculty.
The number of people voting for Democrat, Secretary Hillary Clinton, dropped from 53% to 50% while Republican, President Donald Trump’s voters jumped from 33% to 35%. An interesting occurrence shows that 15% of the school did not vote for either of the dominant political parties, with 10% of the vote in 2018 going to the Libertarian Party candidate, Governor Gary Johnson, an increase from 9% in 2016. 5% of the vote went to the Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, unchanged from 2016.
When taking a closer look at the faculty vote, it is evident that views have not changed. The faculty who voted for Hillary Clinton increased from 70% to 75%, while the faculty voting for Donald Trump fell from 22% to 20%. The number of third party voters also fell from 8% to 5%, equally distributed between Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The political views of the teachers have been found to differ greatly in comparison to students.
While only 20% of the teachers would vote for Donald Trump, 39% (up from35% in 2016) of students support him. This additionally contrasts to support for Hillary Clinton, as her supporters makeup 41% of the student body, down significantly from 50% in 2016. Students also disproportionately support third party candidates as one in five students support a third party candidate. 13% of students support Gary Johnson, slightly more than the 10% recorded in 2016. And 7% support Jill Stein, once again a slight increase from the 5% recorded in 2016.
In addition to polls done on the issue of the November election, the Oracle also asked questions about political affiliation and opinions on hot button issues. Some of the questions were:
- “How would you describe yourself politically?”
- “Do you believe the current economic system needs more, less, or no change in regulation?”
When asked how one would describe their political leaning, the responses were varied: 32% of those surveyed identified as liberal, 8% identified as libertarian, 33% as conservative, 16% as centrists, and 9% chose the “other” category. When broken down further, voting habits mimicked beliefs as 46% of faculty identified as liberal, 2.5% identified as libertarian, 24% as conservative, 20% as centrists, and 7.5% did not identify with a given category. This also follows the student beliefs as 25% of students identify as liberal, 11% as libertarian, 38% as conservative, 26% as centrist, while only 1% did not identify with a given category.
When asked whether one thought the current economic system needs more, less, or no change in regulation, the responses were less varied. 27% of those surveyed believed no change in regulation is warranted, 21% wanted less regulation, while the remaining 51% of those surveyed believed more regulation was needed. Faculty and staff opinions were largely homogenous with 68% of those surveyed wanting more regulation, 16% wanting less regulation, and 16% believing no change in regulation is warranted. The teachers’ opinions contrast with students’ opinions as 44% want more regulation, 24% want less regulation, and 32% want no change in regulation.
In conclusion, the latest survey of student and faculty opinions shows new insight into the beliefs of our community. While the general beliefs of the community have not changed drastically since 2016, more students seem to be moving towards the middle. Additionally, the teachers’ opinions remain more left-leaning in comparison to students’ opinions.