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Furman poll: Students like Romney; faculty and staff favor Obama

Last updated March 14, 2016

By News administrator

OCTOBER 11, 2012
by John Roberts, Newspage Editor

Like most Americans, Furman faculty, staff, and students are fairly divided when it comes to party affiliation and presidential politics.

But, according to an informal poll released today, the university community shares common ground on a few issues. 81 percent of faculty and staff and 84 percent of students agree that Mitt Romney won last week’s presidential debate. And more than half of all respondents list the economy as the most important issue facing the country.

While many agree the economy is slowly improving, more than half of those who responded said our nation’s standing in the world is weaker than it was four years ago. Only 6.2 percent of students and 22 percent of faculty and staff said they and their families are better off financially than they were four years ago.

Ninety-seven students and 68 faculty and staff completed the online survey. Students favored Romney to Obama 45 to 41 percent while the president was the favorite among 51 percent of faculty and staff with Romney collecting 44 percent of the vote.

A slim majority—32 percent of students—considered themselves moderate compared to 30 percent liberal, 29 percent conservative, and 7 percent libertarian. Thirty-seven percent of faculty and staff identified themselves as conservative while 33 and 27 percent said they were liberal and moderate, respectively.

Other survey findings show:

— Seventy percent of faculty and staff characterized their level of political engagement as “high—I watch the news, follow the polls, and can tell you what the top issues are.” Only four percent of faculty and staff respondents said they were “not paying much attention to the presidential race.”

— Nearly nine out ten students and eight out of ten faculty and staff watched some or all of the presidential debate.

— Fifty-seven percent of faculty and staff and 63 percent of students said they planned to view all of the debates.

The results of the student and faculty and staff surveys have been posted online.

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