SIMPSON POLITICAL SURVEY

(POSC 290: MAY TERM)
PROF. KEDRON BARDWELL

What is the Simpson Political Survey?

a survey of 62+ faculty / 806+ students

“on-campus” student/faculty responses gathered in person in various classes

“abroad” students sent survey by email • This survey, which we also conducted in 2006, is more close to a “census” than a true random survey…

Topics covered in the survey:

Partisanship • Ideology (liberal/conservative/mod.) • Activism / Turnout • Vote in ’08 caucuses • Media “bias” • Iraq War → Bush approval • Key Policy/Issue Attitudes...

PARTY IDENTIFICATION (faculty)
…Democratic groups 8 pts higher than ‘06
Party affiliation (FACULTY)

12% 8% 2% 65% 13%

Republican Independent, Leans Rep Independent, No Leaning Independent, Leans Dem Democrat

PARTY IDENTIFICATION (students)
…Democratic groups 6 pts higher than ‘06
Party affiliation (STUDENTS)

21% 35% 11%

Republican Independent, Leans Rep Independent, No Leaning Independent, Leans Dem Democrat

10% 23%

Faculty Views: Liberal vs. Conservative
Ideology (FACULTY)
3% 11% 21% Very liberal Liberal Moderate Conservative Very conservative

18%

46%

Student Views: Liberal vs. Conservative
Ideology (STUDENTS)
Very liberal Liberal Moderate Conservative Very conservative 27%

3% 9% 16%

44%

POLITICAL ACTIVISM [participation!] “In the last 2 years, I have…” STUD Campaign Volunteer Attended a Speech Talked Politics Online Non-Profit Volunteer… 11% 40% 18% 53%! FAC 24% 73% 40% 68%

TURNOUT in 2008 IOWA CAUCUS
Statewide: 354,000 = IOWA turnout rate of about 16%

Turnout % DEM/Lean DEM professors Dem/Lean DEM students REP/Lean REP professors REP/Lean REP students
…self-reported…

85% 66% 75% 53%

VOTE: Iowa Caucuses (DEM faculty)
Democratic FACULTY (or Independents who Lean Democratic): Which candidate did you vote for in the 2008 nomination race?

Obama Clinton Did not vote Other Edwards
0

37% 24% 15% 13% 11%
10 20 30 40

VOTE: Iowa Caucuses (DEM students)
Democratic STUDENTS (or Independents who Lean Democratic): Which candidate did you vote for the in 2008 nomination race?

Obama Did not vote Edwards Clinton 11% 8% 34%

45%

Other 2%
0 10 20 30 40 50

VOTE: Iowa Caucuses (REP faculty)
Republican FACULTY (or Independents who Lean Republican): Which candidate did you vote for in the 2008 nomination race?

McCain

42%

Huckabee

25%

Did not vote

25%

Other

8%

0

10

20

30

40

50

VOTE: Iowa Caucuses (REP students)
Republican STUDENTS (or Independents who Lean Republican): Which candidate did you vote for in the 2008 nomination race?

Did not vote Huckabee McCain Romney Other

47% 20% 16% 9% 8%
0 10 20 30 40 50

NEWS MEDIA: BIAS?
Overall, coverage by mainstream U.S. media outlets...

6% 11%

Leans conservative is neutral/fair Leans liberal varies (the slant differs by outlet)

60%

22%

Pres. BUSH: Job Approval Rating

IRAQ WAR: then (2003) & now (2008)
60 50 PERCENT SUPPORT 40 30 20 27 10 13 0 Faculty members Students 32
In 2003, did you think the use of military force in Iraq was the right or wrong decision? vs. [NOW] in 2008, do you think think the use of military force in Iraq was the right or wrong decision?

58

Student Party ID: then (‘06) & now (‘08)
*2006* Repub. Dem. Indep. *2008* Repub. Dem. Indep. Senior 21% 47 32 Senior 17% 43 40 Junior 26% 44 30 Junior 18% 34 47 Soph. 25% 47 28 Soph. 26% 33 41 Frosh 26% 45 29 Frosh 22% 29 49

…What the heck is going on here??

Short-term vs. long-term trends (1) [ST] Move toward DEM party on
some issues, esp. Bush and IRAQ

(2) [LT] Move toward “independent”
self-identification… “leaning” DEM.

Simpson’s “Consensus” on Key Issues

About 70% of faculty and 40% of students strongly disagree with amendments to ban gay marriage. About 70% of faculty disagree with the idea that states should increase limits on abortion. Students are more evenly divided on the issue, with about 20 % in each category (strongly agree, agree, no opinion, disagree, strongly disagree). When asked whether or not immigrants illegally in the U.S. should be granted a “path to citizenship,” 86% of professors and 43% of students say YES.

Simpson’s “Consensus” on Key Issues

Raise gas taxes to encourage conservation? 73% of students said NO (only 37% of profs) Support for Iowa’s new public smoking “ban”? 60+% of faculty/students strongly support!
Support for govt funded universal health care? 68 % of faculty and 58% of students favor this.
(down 6-9 pts. from 2006)

 

Simpson’s “Consensus” on Key Issues

Should U.S. spend more $ on domestic poverty? 80% of both faculty and students say YES Should U.S. spend more fighting global poverty? 71% of profs but ONLY 38% of

Conclusions and Implications?

QUESTIONS...