HC's Pre-Election Survey #2: College Women Aren't Loving Hillary

More than 580 college women took our second survey on the presidential election last week. A LOT had changed in the seven months since our first pre-election survey—For one thing, the candidate pool went from 13 viable candidates in October to only three today. We wanted to find out if all the election drama had changed our readers’ minds about the candidates or the issues, and who they might choose to vote for come November.

We picked a weird week to do our survey—During the week the survey was open, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the running after losses in Indiana. Our survey results allowed respondents to choose Kasich and Cruz as answers to some questions, as they were still in the race when the survey first went live.

The biggest difference between our first survey and this one was how college women perceived the candidates. In October, more college women had a positive impression of Hillary Clinton than a negative impression. Unfortunately for Hillz, that’s changed. Now, 41 percent of respondents said they had a negative impression, while 31 percent had a positive impression. But this doesn’t mean they would decline to vote for Clinton. In match-ups against any of the Republican candidates, Clinton still came out ahead.

Unsurprisingly, our readers are still seriously feelin’ the Bern—and not feelin’ the Donald. Among survey respondents, 68 percent had a positive impression of Bernie Sanders, and 50 percent said they would vote for him if they were voting today. Plus, way more college women know about Bernie these days. While in October, over 7 percent of respondents reported not knowing who Bernie was, now less than 0.2 percent said the same.

For Trump, on the other hand, not much has changed. He has virtually the same rating as seven months ago—87 percent of survey respondents have a negative impression of him. But now that he’s the presumptive nominee, 7 percent of college women say they would vote for him, as opposed to 3 percent before.

While Kasich had to drop out of the race, his schtick as the one decent, grown-up Republican candidate seems to have worked in appealing to college women. He was the No. 1 Republican candidate in this survey—even though he dropped out of the race part of the way through—with nearly 9 percent saying they would vote for him right now. He also did much better than Trump in match-ups with the Democratic candidates. Only 15 percent of survey respondents chose Trump over Clinton and Sanders, but when Kasich was the Republican candidate, 35 percent chose him over Clinton, and 25 percent chose him over Sanders. Maybe Kasich should have tried to stick out out after all (though his delegate count was pretty sad).

In terms of the issues, not much has changed in the last several months. College women still say reproductive rights, education and the economy are the most important issues to them in this election, while climate change and freedom of religion won’t affect their vote. It’s obvious why Bernie is doing so well—His major talking points of universal health care, free college and a better deal for the 99 percent align perfectly with the priorities of college women. Meanwhile, Trump’s blunt rhetoric regarding immigration and American strength has fallen flat.

See the rest of the results below!