Elections, Fall 2016 Articles, Misc, Politics, Race, Topline Results

Fall 2016 Big Poll at a Glance

With Fall Break kicking off, we closed down our “Big Poll” for the semester, in which we reached out to 4,000 NC State students for their opinions on a variety of topics, including the 2016 Elections, racism, and terrorism.  From that, we see a mixed picture of record-high approvals and record-low optimism for the future.

Notable among these results is the 11% spike in President Obama’s approval from our Spring 2016 survey, putting him at an all-time high approval rating in Pack Poll history as his second term draws to a close.

Despite this marked increase in approval, students are far more pessimistic about the current direction of the nation, with only 32% saying the US is “headed in the right direction”. Fortunately this is not reflected in their opinions on NC State, with 79% saying our school is “generally headed in the right direction”. However, this is a significantly lower number than our Spring survey, showing a downturn in opinion as a whole.

Part of this is doubtlessly reflected in opinions regarding race relations in the US, and at NC State, in which students say recent events both here in Raleigh and across the country raise important issues.

We also investigated student opinions on other topics, and paid special attention to the upcoming elections. 87% of students have either definitely decided or are leaning towards a particular candidate, with Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 23%, and Gary Johnson trailing Trump by 11%.

We additionally covered issues such as free speech, police shootings, and the upcoming elections in greater depth. More articles are forthcoming about the data and its implications, and the toplines are available here: Big Poll Fall 2016 Toplines.

NOTE ON METHODOLOGY: This “Big Poll” took place October 2-6, 2016. The survey was administered over the internet to a random sample of 4,000 NCSU undergraduates, generating a 22% response rate for completed surveys. Sampling error is +/-3% for completed surveys and questions asked of the full sample; it is higher for sub-groups and questions asked of only portions of the full sample.

In addition to sampling error, other forms of error occur in surveys, such as confusion about question wording or the order of questions, but these are not precisely quantifiable. We have applied post-stratification sample weights for demographic imbalances in gender, which had minor but noticeable effects on the results.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

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