In a poll conducted in the 48 hours ahead of the US election, 74% of University of Exeter students said that they would describe the election as a ‘largely negative experience’. This comes following Fox News’ predictions at the beginning of 2016 that this would be “the most negative, nasty presidential campaign in modern American history’.
Students opinions surrounding the two main presidential candidates were also generally negative in nature. Whilst over 73% of students claimed that they would be supporting Clinton on the night, only 14.2% of those surveyed said that they had a ‘largely positive’ view of the candidate, with 48% revealing slightly or largely negative feelings towards her.
Views of Republican candidate Donald Trump tended to be more extreme, with 49% expressing ‘largely negative’ views of the politician, who has dominated global headlines with his controversial policies throughout the electoral campaign. Of the 105 people who responded to XMedia’s survey, just 5 claimed to be Trump supporters, and just 4.7% of respondents see the candidate in a positive light.
Although Clinton and Trump have largely dominated commentary surrounding the race for the White House, those surveyed were also asked about other candidates in presidential election campaign. Whilst 40% of students expressed negative opinions about Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, over 70% said that they ‘don’t know’ how they feel about independent candidate Evan McMullin.
The Green Party however did seem to wield support amongst student respondents. 11% said that they felt that their views most aligned with the party, whilst over 27% expressed positive opinions about Green Party candidate Jill Stein.