More than 430 college women took Her Campus’s third election survey last month, giving us some great insight into what college women are thinking and feeling as we close in on election day. We wanted to know not just who they’d vote for and what issues they cared about, but also how major controversies throughout the election season affected their opinions. And we wanted to know how they felt about the act of voting itself, after so much talk about a failing system and rigged elections. Here’s what we found out!
You can also see our results in beautiful infographic form here.
1. College women are registered and ready to vote
More than 92 percent of the women who took our survey are registered to vote. Not only that, but they believe that voting is a crucial right that’s meant to be used—75 percent say you should always exercise your right to vote, even if you’re voting for a third party candidate. Thirteen percent think it’s okay not to vote if there’s not a candidate you believe in.
2. They don’t have high opinions of the candidates
Sixty percent of college women would vote for Hillary Clinton right now, but that doesn’t mean they like her all that much. Only 28 percent had a positive impression of her, while 42 percent had a negative impression (the rest were neutral). Still, that pales in comparison to how college women feel about Donald Trump—83 percent have a negative impression of him. This is down from 87 percent in our last two surveys, so maybe Trump is making some progress! Related to these numbers, 60 percent of respondents voting for Clinton and 73 percent of respondents voting for Trump said they felt their candidate was the lesser of two evils.
3. Most think Bernie Sanders was right to end his campaign
Our readers absolutely love Bernie Sanders—In our last survey, twice as many people said they’d vote for him as for Clinton, and almost 70 percent had a positive impression of him. But 47 percent said he did the right thing by dropping out of the race. Another 22 percent also thought he should have dropped out, with the caveat that he shouldn’t have endorsed Clinton.
4. Nearly a quarter don’t think Donald Trump lies more than any other politician
As we said above, the vast majority of college women don’t like Trump, and 63 percent are bothered that he lies frequently in speeches and public appearances. However, 23 percent think he lies, but not more than any other politician. This is pretty surprising given that Trump has been shown time and time again to lie an astonishing amount both on and off the campaign trail—and definitely more than Clinton.
5. The majority say this election made them more politically engaged
This is great news! Sixty-one percent of college women say this election has made them more politically engaged. When asked why, many said that this is their first opportunity to vote. They also noted the historic nature of the election, and the feeling that the result would impact their lives.