University of Richmond students are overwhelmingly voting for Hillary Clinton, according to an unscientific poll conducted by a student-led think tank two weeks ago.
The Roosevelt Institute found that 71 percent of students polled, or 145 students, said they were voting for Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and libertarian Gary Johnson, tied for second. They both earned 19 votes, which is about nine percent. Two percent of students said they were voting for Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, and about eight percent answered “other.”
The Roosevelt Institute, a non-partisan organization focused on social activism, polled students walking through the Tyler Haynes Commons from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19.
Roosevelt polled 204 students and excluded students that were not registered to vote or cannot vote from the poll. There are 4,181 undergraduate students, according to the Richmond website.
The poll was unscientific, Daniel Palazzolo, chairman of the political science department, said.
“There’s not really much stock you can put in it as a representation of the entire student body at the University of Richmond,” Palazzolo said. “You have to take that as a caveat.”
Josh Young, president of the Roosevelt Institute, was surprised by the results of the poll.
“I really thought it was going to be more balanced than it was,” Young said. “I really thought that as in a national poll, that Hillary and Donald Trump were going to be in a closer competition. I really didn’t expect to find such an unbalance.”
Clinton leads with 45.3 percent in national polls, according to the latest average calculated by Real Clear Politics. The polls show Trump following closely behind with 43.4 percent, Johnson with about five percent and Stein with just more than two percent.
More students said they were voting for Clinton than Palazzolo had expected, considering the national polls, he said.
“I do think it’s probably right that she’s ahead,” Palazzolo said. “It’s just a question of by how much.”
The Roosevelt Institute conducted the poll because it wanted to see the political demographics on campus and how they relate to the national picture, Young said.
“A lot of things on campus, people might not be comfortable verbally saying,” Young said. “So in a way, we’re passively tapping into the consciousness of the UR campus.”
The Roosevelt Institute also hoped the results of the poll would influence undecided or unlikely voters to vote, Young said.
“There’s an impact of having people aware of what people are thinking,” he said.
Contact news writer Ashlee Korlach at firstname.lastname@example.org.