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HC POLL RESULTS: Your Views On The 2012 Presidential Election

Last week, we asked you, our loyal readers, to give us your thoughts on the 2012 Presidential election.

More than 700 of you from across the country chimed in on a bevy of issues and subjects ranging from which candidate will get your vote in November, to how much of the conventions you watched, to your impressions of Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to which Kardashian would make the best President.


Obama holds a comfortable lead

Not exactly unexpected, but President Barack Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden lead the Romney-Ryan ticket 67.1 percent to 20.8 percent, with 6.7 percent undecided and 3.1 percent planning to vote for another candidate. When asked for their political affiliation, 30.1 percent of poll respondents were registered Democrats, while 22.7 percent considered themselves Democrat, but were not formally registered. Only 12.9 percent of responses came from registered Republicans, while 27.9 percent weren’t affiliated with either party.

Students overwhelmingly approve of President Obama’s first three years in office, with 52.1 percent of those surveyed giving him a ‘B’ for his job thus far. 15.6 percent of responses gave the Commander in Chief an ‘A’ grade, while another 15.6 gave him a ‘C’. Only 7.6 percent felt the President deserved a failing grade for his performance from 2009-2012.

“It’s the economy, stupid”

When pressed on the major issues in the Presidential election, college students put dollars and cents over social issues.

The National Debt (37.3 percent) was seen as the most important issue facing America this November, followed by Unemployment (29.6 percent) and Healthcare (16.1 percent). While Social Issues were seen as the fourth choice (11.3 percent), they ranked second on a list of the most important issues facing individuals heading to the ballot box (25.1 percent). As expected, Student Loan Debt topped a concerned college crowd with 32.3 percent of those respondents saying it was the most important election issue facing them in 2012.

With the poll’s exclusivity to college women, it is no surprise that women’s rights will factor into the audience’s decision at the polls. More than half (55.0 percent) of those surveyed said that issues like abortion were ‘very important’ and will help directly influence their vote, while 33.5 percent said that they were ‘somewhat important.’ Just over 10 percent (10.3) said that women’s rights issues took a backseat to more important national issues that could be deemed more important at this time.

The Conventions and Paul Ryan

The majority (58.9 percent) of those who responded to the Her Campus poll said that they watched a portion of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, with most (43.7 percent) watching between 1-3 hours.

While the GOP convention was viewed as a platform for the national introduction of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his VP choice Paul Ryan, the two did not get off on the right foot with college women. 32.3 percent of those polled said that the RNC didn’t change their perception of Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts Governor, while 30.2 percent said that it changed for the worse. Only 9.4 percent claimed that the pomp and circumstance improved their view of the GOP Presidential nominee.

A stunning 55.1 percent of those surveyed don’t view Mr. Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, in a favorable light, while 27.1 percent share a neutral view. Ryan did place second, behind President Obama as to which of the four men vying for the honor of President/Vice President is most dateable with 24.1 percent of the vote.

Social Media and the News Cycle

As this country’s most active users of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms, today’s college student is utilizing new technology to keep track of election happenings. 49.3 percent of those polled follow at least one of the candidates via social media with the majority of those who do (88.9 percent) following President Obama. Only 7.2 percent of those surveyed follow both candidates, while only 25.3 percent of those who followed a candidate tracked Governor Romney.

Social media sites also placed second (67.8 percent) to internet news sites like CNN.com and the Drudge Report (74.7 percent) as the place college students receive their election news coverage. Newspapers received 46.6 percent of the vote, 24-hour news channels managed 44.2 percent, followed by nightly news programs (39.6 percent) and parody TV news shows like ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ (37.3 percent).

Relationships, Moms and Khloe Kardashian

While social media and politics may make for some uncomfortable confrontations amongst friends and followers, political status updates (41.3 percent) are still not seen as annoying as friends who post gushy relationship photos online (58.7 percent). Michelle Obama, seen by many college women as a popular and inspiring figure would be ‘the cool mom’, or at least, cooler than Ann Romney, amongst those polled, with 81.9 percent saying that they’d rather have Michelle Obama as a parent than Mitt Romney’s wife Ann.

And last but not least, of the Kardashians who would handle themselves best in the Oval Office, Khloe is seen as ‘Most Presidential,’ with 46.1 percent of the vote, followed by Kourtney (25.6 percent), Kendall Jenner (12.2 percent), Kim (8.7 percent) and Kylie Jenner (7.5 percent).


Graphic by Kelsey Thorn

Stephanie is co-founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Media, which she co-founded in 2009 as an undergrad at Harvard.
Jake joined the Her Campus team in July of 2010 as a token male and publicity expert. Under his watch, Her Campus Media has been featured in numerous national publications including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Fast Company, CNN Money, Business Insider, BusinessWeek, CBS Moneywatch and many, many more. A 2008 graduate of Emerson College, his previous stops include the Boston Marathon, Stratton Mountain Resort and the Detroit Red Wings Hockey Club.
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