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.
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.
|Not yet, but I plan to register||
|No, and I don't plan to register||
|A third party||
|A write-in candidate||
|I am undecided||
|I don't plan on voting||
|Racial and gender equality||
|Jobs and the economy||
|Healthcare/Healthcare costs/Healthcare reform||
|Climate change/the environment||
|* Something else (please specify)||
|The federal deficit/The budget||
|Defense/National Defense/Homeland security||
- * 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”
|Not at all||
Note: Responses to questions 2-5 include only those that responded to the first question: "Yes" or "Not yet, but I plan to register."