Wellesley Poll 2016

Hoop Rolling 2016

Wellesley Women Weigh in on the 2016 Presidential Election

There’s still a long way to go in the presidential race, but we know one thing for sure: women will play a significant role in this election. Wellesley’s Class of 2016 is remarkably diverse and politically engaged—and will, in just a few months, cast their first votes for president. As our Seniors head off to make their respective marks on the world, they are also making their political opinions known: the results of the Wellesley 2016 Election Poll give a glimpse into what is resonating with these young women today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wellesley women predominantly support one of their own. 65% support Hillary Clinton, Class of 1969. But our graduates are not a monolithic group: 14% support Bernie Sanders and 2% support Donald Trump. Moreover, they overwhelmingly report that the gender of a political candidate matters only a little (51%) or not at all (31%) when it comes to this election.

  • Most important issues to Wellesley 2016 graduates: racial and gender equality (22%), income inequality (20%), and foreign policy/affairs (12%). Issues such as terrorism (0%) and national defense (1%) were not considered among the most important issues for them.

  • In contrast to perceptions that millennials are less likely to fulfill their civic duty, the Class of 2016 says it is registered to vote (79%) or planning to do so (14%) before the November 8 election.

Are you registered to vote in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election?
Answer   Response %
Yes
 
146 79%
Not yet, but I plan to register
 
26 14%
No, and I don't plan to register
 
13 7%
Total
 
215 100%
Who do you plan to vote for?
Answer   Response %
Hillary Clinton
 
130 65%
Bernie Sanders
 
29 14%
Donald Trump
 
5 2%
A third party
 
1 0%
A write-in candidate
 
1 0%
I am undecided
 
32 16%
I don't plan on voting
 
3 1%
Total
 
201 100%
What is your party affiliation?
Answer   Response %
Democrat
 
141 70.3%
Republican
 
15 7.4%
Unaffiliated/Independent
 
45 22.3%
Total
 
201 100%
Pick the issue that matters most to you in the presidential election.
Answer   Response %
Racial and gender equality
 
55 26%
Income inequality
 
42 20%
Foreign policy/affairs
 
26 12%
Education
 
24 11%
Jobs and the economy
 
22 10%
Healthcare/Healthcare costs/Healthcare reform
 
18 8%
The economy
 
11 5%
Climate change/the environment
 
5 3%
* Something else (please specify)
 
5 3%
The federal deficit/The budget
 
4 2%
Defense/National Defense/Homeland security
 
2 1%
Terrorism
 
1 0%
Total
 
201 100%
  • * Something else (please specify):
  • “Social safety net”
  • “I honestly couldn't narrow it down.
  • “Gun safety”
  • “Immigration and refugee policy.”
  • “I care about all of them, except for terrorism which is an vastly overblown fear”
How much does the gender of a political candidate matter to you?
Answer   Response %
Not at all
 
67 31%
A little
 
109 51%
A lot
 
39 18%
Total
 
201 100%

Note: Responses to questions 2-5 include only those that responded to the first question: "Yes" or "Not yet, but I plan to register."