Clinton Clinches in SAIS Election Survey

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(Photo Courtesy: Mary D’Amico)


SAIS students from all three campuses overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. In a survey conducted by the SAIS Observer, 71.4 percent of the 189 surveyed indicated they would vote for Clinton at the polls.

Donald Trump garnered the support of 6.3 percent of respondents, outperforming independent candidate Evan McMullin, who won 3.7 percent of the vote. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson secured 3.2 percent of SAIS’ support and Jill Stein is supported by 0.5 percent of those surveyed — tying with Jon Huntsman Jr., who ran for the Republican nomination in 2012 and is not on the ballots in any states. SAIS PhD candidate Brian Carlson also won one write-in vote.

Around 12 percent of respondents said they would not vote this election, 58.3 percent of whom are not eligible to vote. Another 25 percent of these (about 3 percent of total respondents) said that both top candidates were unacceptable, suggesting a possible explanation for these students.

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In total, 22.8 percent of respondents said that both top candidates were unacceptable, 41.8 percent of whom ultimately decided to vote for Hillary Clinton. A handful of these people left comments expressing their preference for Bernie Sanders, who ran for the Democratic nomination.

Female students overwhelmingly responded they would vote for Mrs. Clinton. Female Trump or Johnson supporters at SAIS appear to have something in common with Stein supporters of both sexes: they exist, but are exceedingly rare. Nearly 63 percent of male SAIS students supported Clinton, a strong showing, though not quite as high as the 87.7 percent of female SAIS students.

Also of note were those who said they would vote for Clinton despite expressing dissatisfaction with both candidates or preference for Sanders. Eleven percent of male students voted for Clinton grudgingly, compared to 5.5 percent of female students.

Students currently studying at SAIS D.C. represented 129 of the survey’s 189 respondents. Strategic studies concentrators represented the largest voting block in D.C. with 32 total voters – 21 of whom voted for Clinton.

Energy, resources and environment concentrators were Clinton’s second-largest voting contingent in D.C., with 11 voters casting support for the Democrat. Students concentrating in general international relations, China studies, international law, American foreign policy, Southeast Asia studies, Middle East studies, Africa studies, Japan studies, international political economy, Latin American studies, conflict management, Europe and Eurasia studies and international development also cast votes for Clinton.

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Trump’s D.C.-based support came strictly from students who are either spending their first year in D.C. or who have spent both academic years in Washington.

M.A. candidates concentrating in strat., LASP, IPE, ERE and AFP turned out for Trump with one PhD candidate also supporting the Republican.

Evan McMullin was supported by six strat. concentrators and one AFP student in Washington.

All of Gary Johnson’s votes from the D.C. campus came from students who spent the last academic year in Bologna, with students from ERE, IPE, strat., and conflict management supporting the Libertarian.

One D.C.-based China studies concentrator cast a vote for Jill Stein and one D.C.-based Canadian Studies student voted for Jon Huntsman Jr.

Brian Carlson earned one vote from an M.A. candidate in EES.

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