Readers respond to PioPoll: US Presidential Election

In its first-ever PioPoll, The Pioneer Log sent a voluntary online survey to the Lewis & Clark community via email and through social media to collect opinions on the 2020 U.S. presidential election. It remained open from Oct. 5 through Oct. 21, in which time it received 298 responses.

While the results of this survey cannot be guaranteed to represent the entire LC community, it provides a snapshot of a portion of it.

The survey began by asking the respondent’s relationship to LC. In total, 222 students, 53 faculty members, 12 staff members, 10 alums and one administrator responded to the survey. The rest of the survey included eight substantive questions.

Not every respondent answered every question of the PioPoll. The number of responses for each question are included in the description of the relevant graphic.

With only two respondents choosing not to answer whether they will be voting in the election, 95.9% of respondents said they will be voting, 3.7% said they are not eligible to vote in the election and one respondent said they are eligible to vote but will not be voting.

For the question asking with which political party respondents are registered, only Independent respondents and those affiliated with the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Green Parties are included in the graphic on page 3.

For the question asking who respondents are voting for in the U.S. presidential election, three undecided voters were excluded from the graphic.

When asked whether Sen. Kamala Harris should be the next Democratic presidential candidate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 election, 41.1% of respondents said she should not, but that they did not have another candidate in mind. 29.1% said Harris should be the next nominee. Alternative candidates that received multiple mentions from other respondents include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang.

For the question asking for respondents’ most important issue determining their vote, responses were condensed into the top eight most popular responses plus an “Other” response that includes all other answers respondents either chose or wrote in.

Of the 280 individuals who answered this question, 270 intend to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Five plan to vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence while two each will vote for the Libertarian candidates, Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen, and Kanye West. One respondent favors Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, the Green Party candidates.

Among the 283 respondents to this question, 211 predict that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will become the next president and vice president. Another 72 believe that Donald Trump and Mike Pence will earn a second term. Respondents were not given the option of selecting other candidates due to that result’s extremely low probability.

If Joe Biden is elected, many wonder how his age will impact his presidency. Of the 292 respondents to this question, 202 believe that, if elected president, Joe Biden will serve one full term but will not seek reelection. Another 67 believe he will serve a full term and seek reelection in 2024 and 23 believe that he will not serve a full four-year term.

Of the 258 individuals who responded to this question, 240 indicated membership with one of the two main political parties, with a major third party or with independents at large. Of those 240, 224 said they are registered with the Democratic Party, six are Independents, five said they are registered with the Republican Party, three said they are members of the Libertarian Party and two said they were registered with the Green Party.

This question’s 291 respondents expressed diverse priorities when it comes to issues impacting their vote. The most important issue affecting an LC voter’s decision, according to a plurality of respondents, is replacing the incumbent president. Other important issues to LC voters include climate change, systemic racism and police violence, the COVID-19 pandemic and public health, and government social programs.

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