Over 90 percent of students expressed their support for Former Vice President Joe Biden in yesterday’s presidential election, while just five percent expressed their intention to vote for President Donald Trump, according to the Orient’s election survey.
Two percent of students supported Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, while one percent supported Jo Jorgenson, the Libertarian Party candidate. The Orient sent the survey on Monday morning to all 1,940 students (1,776 who are enrolled and 164 who are taking a personal leave of absence) and yielded 877 responses (45 percent).
While Biden’s support marks only a marginal shift in support of the Democratic candidate from the 2016 election, when 89 percent of students supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, far more Bowdoin students consider themselves on the left than four years earlier. Thirty percent of students describe their political ideology as “most liberal,” while 48 percent consider it “liberal,” compared to 19 percent and 41 percent, respectively, in 2016.
Bowdoin students—some of whom worked on her campaign—also overwhelmingly supported Sara Gideon in her campaign to challenge Republican Senator Susan Collins. As Maine voters were given the option to rank candidates in order of preference, the survey asked students registered in the state of Maine who they would rank first in the election and gave them an option to rank a candidate second. Gideon was the first choice for the majority of students, while two-thirds of students signaled they would rank Lisa Savage, the Green Party candidate, second. The Orient failed to include Independent candidate Max Linn in the survey.
The environment remained the issue considered most important by Bowdoin students, with 20 percent of students ranking it in the top three most important to them, virtually the same percentage as was indicated in 2016. Reflective of recent events, the second and third issues considered most important by students were racial justice and the government’s COVID-19 response, with 18 percent and 14 percent support respectively. In the eight years since 2012, the issue of the economy slipped from 42 percent of students considering it one of the most important political issues to just seven percent.
Other notable data points include close to 99 percent of students eligible to vote signaling their intention to vote, 89 percent of whom said they had voted early, either via absentee or mail-in ballot. Seventy-two percent of students reported being registered as members of the Democratic Party, compared to just five percent registered with the Republican Party.