Students sponsor mock balloting
Released Nov. 1, 2000
DANVILLE, KY - Centre College students participated in mock balloting on campus twice this fall, once on Sept. 28 just prior to the vice presidential debate at Centre and again on Nov. 1, in anticipation of the Nov. 7 general election.
The September ballot, which focused exclusively on the Presidential race, attracted 528 responses, with results as follows: Bush 45%, Gore 41%, Nader 5%, and other 9%.
The second round of voting, which aimed to acquaint students with a comprehensive ballot for national, district and local elections, attracted 111 responses, with results as follows: Bush 54%, Gore 40%, Nader 3%, Harry Browne 2%, Jessie Ventura (write-in) 1%.
Centre College Sociology Professor Beau Weston completed a detailed analysis of voting patterns among those students who voted in September. According to Weston, there was no "gender gap," as women and men had the same distribution of preferences. There was also no significant sex difference in the party that students identified with, or in their political ideology. The survey respondents were 55% women and 45% men, almost matching their distribution in the student body in general.
In their party identification, students came out 41% Republican, 38% Democrat, 3% Green, 3% some other party, and 15% identified with no political party. Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly voted with their party's nominee: 86% of Republicans supported Bush, while 83% of Democrats were for Gore. Half the Greens preferred Nader, but 28% of the Greens said they intended to vote for Gore.
In political ideology, the Centre students who voted were distributed according to a bell curve. They ranged from 6% Very Liberal, to 28% Liberal, 37% Moderate, 24% Conservative, and 6% Very Conservative. Both kinds of liberals had solid majorities for Gore, while both kinds of conservatives were overwhelmingly for Bush. Among moderates, one-half supported Bush and one-third supported Gore.
The slight advantage for Bush appears to have come from the liberal voters supporting Nader, who might otherwise support Gore. Bush's advantage among moderate students also yielded a point or so in the Republican's favor.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger