The Class of 2024 comes from all over the world, but on certain matters of American politics, our data showed near uniformity. Around 9 in 10 respondents reported favorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement. Only 8.9 percent of respondents indicated that they intend to cast their ballot for President Donald Trump. More generally, our survey showed that students in the first-year class lean overwhelmingly to the left — 70.3 percent of respondents identified their political persuasions as liberal.
Amid a global pandemic, an upcoming presidential election, and protests for racial justice that swept the nation this summer, the ‘Prince’ surveyed the Class of 2024’s political leanings. Research has shown that faculty at elite American institutions such as the University lean heavily liberal in their politics. Our findings suggest the student body may be no different.
Among respondents, 70.3 percent identified their political persuasion as “somewhat” or “very” liberal, with only 11 percent identifying as “somewhat” or “very” conservative.
When it comes to the presidential race, respondents leaned heavily toward former Vice President Joe Biden. Of respondents who indicated they are eligible to vote in the U.S. general election, 79.4 percent will cast their ballots for Biden, while only 8.9 percent intend to vote for President Donald Trump. The results were consistent with recent polling that found Biden leading among young voters.
Around 5 percent of students said they will be voting for a third-party candidate, and 3 percent said they’re choosing to sit the election out.
Despite respondents’ overwhelming electoral support for Biden, the former Vice President’s favorability was not as high. Only 2.1 percent of students indicated they “strongly favor” the Democratic nominee. Thirty-seven percent of students found Biden “somewhat unfavorable” or “strongly unfavorable.”
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement united almost all respondents: 90.4 percent hold favorable views of the movement. Only one-half of one-percent of respondents — four students in total — held a strongly unfavorable view of BLM.
On other aspects of racial justice, however, the margins were wider. On support for affirmative action in college admissions, 17 percent held no opinion, and 19.4 percent of students held no opinion on the issue of legalization of marijuana for recreational use — the two highest “no opinion” counts of any of the questions relating to public policy.
In May 2019, Nassau Hall faced a week-long protest over its enforcement of Title IX policy. Asked for their views on #MeToo, a global movement that brought countless allegations of sexual harassment and abuse to light, only 4.8 percent of respondents indicated they were not in favor of the movement, while 83.9 percent said they were. By about 8 percentage points, women were more likely to support the movement than men.
The question on abortion received a unique number of respondents who felt “strongly.” Around 67 percent of students “strongly favored” widespread abortion access, while around 6 percent strongly opposed it. As with #MeToo, female respondents were around 6 percentage points more likely to support abortion access than their male counterparts.
With respect to hot-button campus debates, respondents reported needing more information — experience that will be hard to come by this virtual semester. On the practice of bicker, one-year suspensions for Honor Code violations, and fossil fuel divestment, large swaths of respondents said they lacked sufficient information to voice an opinion.
Continue and EXPLORE THE DATA.