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November 27, 2007 4:09 PM   Subscribe

The times, they are a-changing? [pdf]: A Survey of Iowa State University Students' preferences in the presidential primaries. [spoilers inside]
A large-scale survey of Iowa State University students (sample size was 2,185 out of 26,160 enrolled students which represented 8% of all enrolled students) showed an uncharacteristically high level of student interest in the upcoming Iowa presidential caucuses with ... 58% (921) of those registered to vote indict[ing] that they intend to participate in January 3, 2008 caucuses.
Dem., first choice: Barack Obama, 58%; Hillary R Clinton, 14%; John Edwards, 11%; Bill Richardson, 9%; Dennis Kucinich, 4%; Joe Biden, 3%; Christopher Dodd, 1%.
Rep.: Ron Paul, 27%; Mitt Romney, 24%; Mike Huckabee, 15%; Rudy Giuliani, 13%; Fred Thompson, 10%; John McCain, 10%; Tom Tancredo, 2%.

Of especial interest is the gender breakdown in candidate support (look at Rudy!) and the high percentage of students who found particular candidates, in the students' preferred party, "unacceptable". You'll have to go to the pdf for those numbers.
posted by orthogonality (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
IS IT PRIMARY DAY?
posted by orthogonality at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2007


58% (921) of those registered to vote indict[ing] that they intend to participate in January 3, 2008 caucuses.
I love typos that seem to make sense at first
posted by not_on_display at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2007


As a college student in Iowa (not at Iowa State, though), I'm not sure this is particularly indicative of the way the whole state is leaning. Ron Paul has a lot of support among younger voters, but I think he's a bit toooo out there for the average farmer or Des Moines insurance agent. I do find it interesting that Paul has the highest ranking on "first choice" and the second highest on "not acceptable."

Besides, the fact that the caucuses are so early is going to screw a lot of college students out of participating (myself, perhaps, included). I'm planning on driving back (I'm registered in Iowa, but won't spend the break here), but that may change in the event of a snowstorm.
posted by dismas at 4:17 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


...although, thinking about it, my school's probably not representative given the relatively low proportion of students here from Iowa.
posted by dismas at 4:18 PM on November 27, 2007


Hah, I corrected the verb tense to match my eliding, but missed that the verb was the the wrong one in the original. Clearly, it's "indicated" or "indicat[ing]".
posted by orthogonality at 4:19 PM on November 27, 2007


dismas writes "I'm not sure this is particularly indicative of the way the whole state is leaning."

Oh, definitely. This is interesting for what it says about the current crop of college students (who, if the republic doesn't fall, will be voting for the next 60-80 years), not as any predication of how Iowa as a whole will vote.
posted by orthogonality at 4:21 PM on November 27, 2007


73% registered to vote. That sounds somewhat unlikely. Wonder if they lied to make themselves sound better.
posted by smackfu at 4:30 PM on November 27, 2007


I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind your spoiler alert, but is it really a spoiler if it's about actual life?
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:30 PM on November 27, 2007


The sample of 2,185 students (which represented eight percent of 26,160 enrolled students with a margin of error of +/- 1% at the 95% confidence interval) at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa was drawn between November 14, 2007 and November 19, 2007. Starting at noon on November 14, all enrolled students were sent an email message containing a link to the survey site which was open until noon on November 19, 2007.

I'm not a statistics or survey expert but wouldn't this inflate the percentage of students who responded that they will participate in the caucuses? Seems to me like they would be more likely to participate in a survey about politics.
posted by ofthestrait at 4:34 PM on November 27, 2007


I'm a lifelong dem and the thought of HRC becoming the nominee fills me with despair.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:35 PM on November 27, 2007


73% registered to vote. That sounds somewhat unlikely.

The poll was sent out via email, the respondents had to choose to participate. I'm thinking such a poll would invite responses from those interested in the election more than not, presumably inflating the ratio of voters to non-voters.

Also, if true, it's a bit troublesome that the survey software "recorded no information about respondents other than their answers." Seemingly that would allow dishonest students to fill out the survey more than once, further skewing the accuracy of the poll.
posted by nzero at 4:39 PM on November 27, 2007


I don't know if this is representative of Iowa, but I can tell you (as a college student) that this is very representative of kids this age in general. The majority of college students (even at a small school in the south with christian affiliation) are liberals. The majority of liberals like Obama (Hillary creeps everyone, libs and conservatives, out). Among the Republicans Ron Paul is the most popular, with the super-conservative going for Huckabee.
posted by Autarky at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2007


Seemingly that would allow dishonest students to fill out the survey more than once, further skewing the accuracy of the poll.

Surely Ron Paul supporters would never stoop to such technological ballot-stuffing hijinx!
posted by grouse at 4:44 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


I mean "hijinks." I blame Hollywood Hijinx for my continual misspelling of that word.
posted by grouse at 4:45 PM on November 27, 2007


"Of especial interest..."?


[NOT ESPANOLIST]
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:20 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


The poll was sent out via email, the respondents had to choose to participate.

THIS "POLL" FAILS IT
posted by DU at 5:32 PM on November 27, 2007


If the poll is accurate, I'd read it as Edwards possibly sitting in the catbird seat. If Hillary and Obama go neck and neck, then Edwards, as the overwhelming 2nd and 3rd choice candidate, could sneak by and take it.

Hope springs eternal.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:51 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


The turnout in Iowa among college students is not going to be high. They're all scattered and they always say the caucuses are about getting your people to them more than anything else--without the campus groups and energy and focus on it all in general, and even actual caucuses that would have been held right there requiring no effort at all, how many will seek out their local caucus and spend the whole afternoon participating?
posted by amberglow at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2007


Chez moi we're wondering exactly how many students will be anywhere near the right polling place on January 3.
posted by genghis at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here in Iowa city, the lifers (professors, hospital personnel, the English PhDs who bag our groceries) seem to be much more pro-Hillary than the students, who seem to lean pretty heavily to Obama. There's a slight grumble among the Obama supporters that HRC and our old governor (and principle HRC lackey in Iowa) manipulated events to get the caucuses moved even earlier when the lifers would still be readily available.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 6:42 PM on November 27, 2007


Oh, definitely. This is interesting for what it says about the current crop of college students (who, if the republic doesn't fall, will be voting for the next 60-80 years), not as any predication of how Iowa as a whole will vote.

Well maybe. Lots of young people like Obama, and they like Ron Paul, but what do they have in common other then opposition to the war?

Of those registered to vote in Iowa and planning on participating in the caucuses, more identified themselves as Democrats (47% or 436) than Republicans (31% or 289) while 21% (196) identified themselves as Independents.

You have to be a democrat or republican to vote in the Caucus, that said, the fact that there are far more democrats then republicans is very nice :)

The only thing good about Bush is that he's doing more damage to the Republican party then America.
posted by delmoi at 6:50 PM on November 27, 2007


The typos don't exactly engender faith in their work although otherwise it seems pretty fascinating.

The most fascinating being the Male/Female breakdown for first choice between Dem and Repub.

Of those Dems who picked Hillary as their first choice:

21% were male and 80% were Female.

Not much surprise there (and we won't quibble over an extra percentage point in there).

Of those Repubs who picked Guiliani as their first choice:

38% were male and 62% were Female.

Is it just me or was I wrong in thinking Guiliani doesn't have much love from the R's of the fairer sex? Strange...no?

Discuss.
posted by Skygazer at 6:53 PM on November 27, 2007


When did we start referring to her as HRC? Did I miss an email somewhere?
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:12 PM on November 27, 2007


why can't all the students (who want to vote but might not be there to do so) vote absentee?
posted by CitizenD at 10:27 PM on November 27, 2007


Because caucusing isn't voting. In particular, voters without a preference get lobbied by those who have one, and at each caucus, candidates below some threshold of voters are eliminated, so those preferring them pick a second choice (or combine with another below-threshold, or pick "undecided"). It's a day-long process involving smoozing, cajoling, and compromises.
posted by orthogonality at 10:37 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Democrats and other people who want free money are scared shitless of Paul. Just look at the comments that normally sane and intelligent MeFites produce when any thread mentioning him comes up.

It's like you can hear their little brains whirring: "There goes my grant money / subsidies / etc."
posted by Sukiari at 12:23 AM on November 28, 2007


Democrats and other people who want free money are scared shitless of Paul.

I don't think any non-schizophrenic adult finds Ron Paul scary. He comes off like a sweet old man who really wants to bore you about this excellent model plane he's building (called the Constitution).
posted by stammer at 3:08 AM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think that students are better at voting for their ideals and the stated positions of candidates -- that was what my feeling was when I was a student (at Iowa State, even), although I'm not sure I always kept to those ideals in the voting booth.

Unfortunately, there's the matter of things like bill intro records. Not to single one candidate out -- I've done that a few times around here before and think that point's been made -- but in my experience, students tend to favor what could be over the realities of what actually has played out politically. So you end up with the candidates with the strongest ideals that stray furthest from the norms getting more interest.
posted by mikeh at 7:19 AM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


When did we start referring to her as HRC? Did I miss an email somewhere?

I've seen her refered to as HRC for years. I guess I should be more careful about whether she's using the R or not...
posted by the christopher hundreds at 11:10 AM on November 28, 2007


This is interesting for what it says about the current crop of college students (who, if the republic doesn't fall, will be voting for the next 60-80 years)...

it doesn't necessarily say anything about future voters though. Just because people vote more liberal when they're 19 doesn't mean the culture is going to become more liberal as they grow up - just as likely they'll become more conservative as they grow up. (Remember that current grandparents were once the 'crazy hippies'.)

Also, looking at college students is already looking at a particular demographic - if you take a poll of only college-educated voters, you will probably get different results than if you poll the general population.
posted by mdn at 11:26 AM on November 28, 2007


"I don't think any non-schizophrenic adult finds Ron Paul scary. He comes off like a sweet old man who really wants to bore you about this excellent model plane he's building (called the Constitution)."

Everybody else who has ignored his model plane has something better?

We are screwed as a nation because we don't take the Constitution more seriously. It's not a relic or artifact.
posted by Sukiari at 4:57 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


The only thing about Ron Paul that I find remotely scary is the list of his supporters that also show up on the SPLC's list of hate groups.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is Digg a hate group now?
posted by smackfu at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Paul is very selectively Constitutional--and weirdly so too. He wants less federal intervention--except when it comes to abortion. He wants less government overall except when it comes to his own Earmarks. And why run to head the government when you don't really believe in government--and especially not as a force that can and should help people?

And what Emperor said--you can tell a lot about a candidate by their supporters--why do ALL the white supremacists/neo-nazis/john birchers/etc love him? WTF?

And God only knows why he's even a Republican--they always expand the government, reward the rich and hurt everyone else, deficit spend on massive scales, and ignore the Constitution and our laws--every single one in the WH (and every time they've controlled Congress too) -- since i've been alive. If Paul really believed the things he said, he'd be Independent and running 3rd party like he did in the 80s.
posted by amberglow at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2007


Amberglow, Ron Paul has repeatedly stated that he thinks the states should decide the abortion issue for themselves. He has always said that the federal government won't interfere.

People are desperate to spread every kind of bad rumor about Paul possible. It really shows, too.

You can call him up and ask him about it. He answers his mail personally, too.
posted by Sukiari at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2007


Yeah, he answers his mail personally because no one works for him and he has about 1000 supporters, half of whom are neo-nazis and the rest of whom are strange loner guys who drive beater cars and are Really Angry About Everything and Need To Convince You There Is A Conspiracy. I've seen them. They're one step to the sane side of Lyndon Larouch supporters. A small step.

He's sort of cute, as long as you remember he will never, ever be elected to anything above the office he currently holds. Yeah he's anti-war, but he's also anti-society. And this has nothing to do with living on the dole, my friend. And I doubt you take no public funds, or do you not drive to work or use the public library?

Libertarians and Ayn Randers and 9/11 Conspiracists and the rest of them should start their own country and see how it runs.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:37 PM on December 2, 2007


His 1000 supporters must be some of the richest people on earth. I mean, seriously, could you have come up with a less informed and more ignorant comment? You make yourself into a fool with that kind of talk. Not to mention a liar.
posted by Sukiari at 12:38 AM on December 3, 2007


Sukiari, you can't leave Constitutional issues to the states--or Rights. We don't gain or lose rights as we go from state to state--at least we're never supposed to.

There's no need for a Federal Govt or Federal Court System at all if the answer is "state's rights" or "let states decide for themselves"--it's not just Paul, but all the GOP who use this lie. My own side uses it as a copout too sometimes, esp for equal marriage rights--and it's wholly unacceptable no matter who does it.

Then we get into Federal regulations and laws and oversight of everything from food and drugs to housing to workplace safety. Those go to the states too? Not.
posted by amberglow at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2007


Abortion is not a right that is granted you in the constitution or any of the amendments. And in fact, we do leave rights not specifically granted in the Constitution up to the states.

The original purpose, and legal purpose, of the Federal Government is to make sure we have honest money, to keep me from interfering with your right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, and to make sure we don't get invaded.

And please, don't get me started on Federal oversight of food safety and drug safety. They are absolutely terrible at both, as nepotism rules with an iron fist in those agencies involved.

If you look into Paul's stances on these issues, and get the information from him and not the often horrifically incorrect media and 'activist' groups, you'll see that he is not in favor of eliminating the entire Federal Government. He is in favor of eliminating our most inefficient and poorly run bureaucracies, who exist now more to perpetuate their own structure than to serve any purpose for the people themselves.

I for one think that anybody who wants an abortion should be able to get one, and that gays should be able to marry. But these are not rights that are specifically granted to us.
posted by Sukiari at 9:08 PM on December 3, 2007


May I add two things:

1. Rights not specifically granted us are not automatically denied, of course.

2. In Virginia and Alaska you can, as a woman who may be no physical match for a rapist or other ill doer, tuck a handgun into your pocket without telling anybody or asking permission. Try the same thing in New York and you're going to jail. So yes, in fact, you do gain or lose rights depending on where you are.
posted by Sukiari at 9:14 PM on December 3, 2007


Ron Paul has repeatedly stated that he thinks the states should decide the abortion issue for themselves. He has always said that the federal government won't interfere.

His website specifically claims that fetuses ought to have the right to life, and that it is a fundamental aspect of his view of "liberty", so if he can simultaneously claim that states can make that decision, then he is also sort of saying states can decide to have slavery, and so forth, as he's including fetuses in the group of citizens with rights - and completely ignoring the impingement of the rights of women in the process, not that we need to get into a thing about it, but reading his website, he does not come off as the least bit "moderate" about anything.

I feel like people just assume because he calls himself "libertarian" he must be like the south park guys or something - but he really is not. He is conservative in general, and the seriously freakin' capitalistic on top of it. There's no attention to social freedom for the sake of free speech, art, diversity, yadda yadda. It's just so we can each be left alone to make more money.
posted by mdn at 11:34 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think you are interpreting him in a fairly narrow light. And his official stance on the abortion issue is that he doesn't like it, but wouldn't interfere with the courts and states ability to decide the issue.

But as far as freedom of speech for art, diversity, etc goes, he surely isn't against it! I am with him, in that the government shouldn't be in the business of supporting people's art and speech financially.

Let's face it - the question of whether or not abortion is a right or not was decided in Roe vs. Wade, but it is not one of the inalienable rights detailed in the Constitution, and likely does not fall under any of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
posted by Sukiari at 12:03 AM on December 5, 2007


Did you read the webpage?
Life and Liberty

The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.

In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman.

In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094.

I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.

I have also authored HR 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called “population control.”

Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken direct action to restore protection for the unborn.

As an OB/GYN doctor, I’ve delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. Many of you may have read my book, Challenge To Liberty, which champions the idea that there cannot be liberty in a society unless the rights of all innocents are protected. Much can be understood about the civility of a society in observing its regard for the dignity of human life.
Sure, his actual proposed legislation at this point only seeks to repeal Roe v Wade, not to impose federal laws against abortion, but the language about the fundamental rights of the unborn certainly sounds as if state laws would be unconstitutional if he were able to follow up & maintain consistency. If the preborn have a fundamental right to be born, which is at the heart of American liberty, then states can't fuck with that any more than they can diminish the rights of other members of the population at their whim (ie, if states can have slavery, or limit voting rights, etc, then abortion is a-ok). And as I said, he never once mentions the right of the woman to have control over her own body, which is the basis for the Roe v Wade decision.

Basically he uses the language of "liberty" and "freedom" in whatever manner he finds useful to support the opinions he already holds, far as I can see. If you just look at the issues, he is simply a conservative. The only difference is his stance against the war, which seems to include a lot of trouble with the UN and international bodies. Though I do appreciate the statement that we should never go to war without a declaration from congress as established in the constitution; our getting around that has been quite ridiculous.
posted by mdn at 11:44 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


So should a woman be able to abort an infant? I don't know the answer.

Bear in mind that he at least respects other people's rights, and wouldn't resort to trickery. I don't agree with him on this issue, but this is barely important when weighed against his benefits.

Abortion paid for with public funds seems like a problem to me, though. Then again I am sick of all the assholes who are stealing my precious money.

I do know that he is the only person running that will reduce my tax burden, and the only one who isn't already purchased by big money lobbies.
posted by Sukiari at 3:50 AM on December 6, 2007


So should a woman be able to abort an infant? I don't know the answer.

women don't abort infants. They abort fetuses. Infants are young children that are already born. Fetuses are in the very early stages of brain development, and even in late term, without any external stimulation have no experience from which to build a consciousness. They are entirely dependent on the woman in whom they live, and she has to give up the use of most of her organs, her blood supply, her air supply, her food sources, and so on, to the fetus she is nurturing. It really is like hosting a parasite or being an alien pod. It's no small undertaking, and to grant the unconscious potential of the embryo greater rights than the living person in whom the embryo is implanted is misguided.

Then again I am sick of all the assholes who are stealing my precious money.

I do know that he is the only person running that will reduce my tax burden,


yeah, well, I guess you've found your guy. If you consider taxes "stealing your money" then you may as well vote for ron paul. But you are clueless about government.
posted by mdn at 2:32 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am not clueless about government. I think government is clueless about what it should be involved in. And people are clueless when it comes to what they think government should be doing.

I was only half kidding about aborting children, post-partum. After all, they will continue to impose a strain on a woman's body, mind, and paycheck for many years to come. All your comments about the parasitic nature apply to children after they are born, with the exception of some bodily fluids.
posted by Sukiari at 8:28 PM on December 6, 2007


Sukiari, we all have broad categories of rights that are mentioned in the Constitution--from equality to privacy to speech to security of person and property, etc... Anything that relies on any of those broad categories like equal protection or equal education or equal opportunity, etc, cannot be left to states since they're not rights states are sworn to protect and uphold and ensure the bestowal of--they are Federally protected and upheld and ensured rights that we all already have no matter where we live in this country. From birth control to sodomy laws to criminalization of certain forms of sexuality but not others, to a million other things that affect all aspects of our lives, etc, the only way to ensure that rights aren't infringed and actually are protected is Federally--thru the 3 branches of our Federal Government.

If one state criminalizes something that's legal in another or others, the people in that one state lose rights. That's not how this country is supposed to work. Women aren't supposed to either have or not have rights simply because they live 10 miles down a highway past a marker. No one is.

If you don't believe in the power of the Federal Government to do its job--and its number one job is to uphold the Constitution and our Laws--it's stupid to be running for President.
posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on December 7, 2007


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