If a survey conducted by a UW–Platteville class is accurate, the Nov. 6 presidential election will be as close as currently predicted.
The Current Issues and Democracy Class, taught by Prof. Rosalyn Broussard, surveyed UW–Platteville students and citizens of Platteville.
The results from the 81 percent of UWP students who indicated a choice (19 percent described themselves as undecided):
Mitt Romney: 51 percent overall, including 58 percent of students who came from rural areas, and 51 percent from suburban areas.
Barack Obama: 49 percent, including 61 percent of College of Liberal Arts and Education majors, 43 percent of College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science majors, 45 percent of College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture majors, and 73 percent of students from urban areas.
Each candidate split the male vote, but Obama had a five-point advantage among females.
The results among Platteville residents:
Obama: 44 percent.
Romney: 43 percent.
Undecided: 13 percent.
Other questions indicate similar splits in opinion.
“When asked which of the two main party candidates were better suited to handle the economy and a separate question asking which is better on foreign policy. Those two were nearly 50–50 split,” said Broussard. “Although when asked which candidate understands the middle class better, it was overwhelmingly in Obama’s favor.”
From a list of major issues that meant the most to the surveyed, the most frequently identified issues were jobs, education, and health care, in order. Support for the Affordable Care Act, called by opponents “ObamaCare,” was near 50–50 as well.
“During this current political climate, as close as we are to a national election and the excitement it brings, one would expect a strong majority of voters to be happy with the current candidates,” said Broussard. “That was not the case.”
Of those surveyed, 48 percent said they were not satisfied with the presidential candidates.
When students were asked whether they agree with the Affordable Care Act, 30 percent said yes, 25 percent said no, and 45 percent were unsure. When asked whether they support “ObamaCare,” 35 percent said yes, 52 percent said no, and 13 percent were unsure. When asked whether they supported adults’ being able to be on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26, 87 percent supported it, 16 percent opposed it, and 1 percent were unsure.
When asked whether higher education is a right or a privilege, 35 percent said it’s a right, 58 percent said it’s a privilege, and 7 percent said both.
Of the 250 students surveyed, 87 percent said they will vote, 10 percent said they will not, and 3 percent were unsure. Of the voters who are decided between Obama and Romney, 95 percent plan on voting, but 71 percent of the undecided voters said they will vote.
Out of the 250, 37 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 33 percent called themselves Democrats, and 30 percent called themselves independents or third-party supporters.
When asked where they got their news, CNN finished first, followed by Fox News, but 58 percent said the media had a neutral effect on their views.