POLL: Biden leads Trump by 7 points among JSU students

A survey conducted by The Chanticleer saw that 51.2% of JSU students intended to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election. (Courtesy of the Joe Biden campaign)A survey conducted by The Chanticleer saw that 51.2% of JSU students intended to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election. (Courtesy of the Joe Biden campaign)

Miranda Prescott, News Editor

A Chanticleer poll of 86 respondents found that 51.2% students at Jacksonville State University intend to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, with 44.2% saying they intend to vote for incumbent President Donald Trump.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. In total, 88 students responded to the survey, with two students choosing to abstain from answering the question about who they plan to vote for.

In total, 44 students said that they would be casting their vote for Biden, while 38 said they would be voting for Trump. Four students, or 4.7%, said that they intend to vote for the Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen and her running mate Jeremy “Spike Cohen, who was interviewed by The Chanticleer earlier this month.

The survey also asked students where they typically lean on the political spectrum during an election, and how their views may have been impacted by their choice of major.

46.6% of students polled said that they tend to vote more liberal, while 44.3% percent of students polled said they vote more conservative. 6.8% of students say they vote for third party candidates and 2.3% of students say they do not vote at all.

Caroline McPhearson, a JSU psychology major, said that she intends to vote for Biden and that her political beliefs have changed since choosing her major.

“I’d say exposure to certain topics has helped to broaden my horizons and decrease tendencies towards ethnocentrism,” said McPhearson. “By having read articles/watching videos in class, I believe I’ve become more open to differing ideas and practices.”

Haley Blackwelder, a music education major at JSU, voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to do the same this election cycle.

“I’ve only been old enough to vote for two elections, and both times, the Republican candidate has been my choice because what he stands for aligns with my beliefs the most,” said Blackwelder. “However, if the beliefs of another party’s candidate were to align with my beliefs more than the Republican candidate’s, I would choose that candidate, regardless of political party.”

While 85.2% of surveyed students said that their choice of major was not affected by their political views, 80.7% of them say that their beliefs have not changed since selecting their intended major.

“I have been more analytical when it comes to the stuff I see on the news,” said one anonymous student who said their political opinion has changed since selecting their major. “I’m biased until I see true facts.”

Logan Fraser, a JSU integrated studies major, said that “the premise of freedom” is what caused him to pick his major.

“Freedom to create a broad, personalized study path that I can apply to my personal and professional life after college,” he said.

Out of the students surveyed, 23.9% of them have majors in the School of Business and Industry, 21.6% in the School of Arts and Humanities and 14.8% in both the School of Health Professions and Wellness and the School of Science. 13.6% of students surveyed are in the School of Education and 11.4% are in the School of Human Services and Social Science.

“I would say that my major and my college experience have evolved me as a person,” said Noah Gipson, a music education major. “It has evolved me and given me a different perspective of others.” 

Gipson explained that he is choosing to remain anonymous in who he is voting for, but stresses the importance of music education in diversification of thought.

“In the music education field, there is truly a wide variety of beliefs and backgrounds present,” he said.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 3. For undecided voters, The Chanticleer has compiled a guide to each presidential candidate and their policies.

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