Throughout the 2016 Primary Election, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has propelled debate on many issues facing the American people including high tuition rates of colleges, the minimum wage, and the increasing income gap between the richest and the poorest. His solutions to these problems are part of his “Democratic Socialist” platform, which has gained momentum particularly among young voters. Within this demographic are college students. Pack Poll decided to poll NC State students on their favorability of Bernie Sanders, his health care plans, and his plans to raise the minimum wage.
Overall, State students held favorable or neutral opinions of Bernie Sanders 65% of the time. A majority of the students were against his plan for a $15 minimum wage, with a staggering 90% of those who found Sanders to be unfavorable also opposing the change. Students were split on whether they favored or opposed a federally administered single-payer health care system, with proportions of those favoring and opposing the policy being almost identical.
In conclusion, it is clear that Bernie Sanders has been able to convince many Americans that there is a new era of societal problems that need to be addressed; however, most students are opposed to his actual policy suggestions to address those problems. Some may argue that Bernie Sanders policies are radical, but based on the approval numbers of these radical ideas, there is still noteworthy group of people who agree with his “radical” solutions – even if not a majority of students. The reason that this is significant for something like minimum wage is that this indicates a middle ground that may have to be struck somewhere between the current wage and Sander’s suggested wage — increasing it from its current state.