Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is a clear favorite among under-graduate students of the prestigious Harvard University to win the presidency, even as almost half of those supporting her say they do not find her trustworthy, according to a new poll. The poll conducted by the university’s daily student newspaper ‘The Harvard Crimson’ said that 87 per cent of surveyed undergraduates would vote for Clinton in the 2016 election, compared to just six per cent for Republican Party nominee Donald Trump.
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However, despite students’ overwhelming support for Clinton, not all in her favor said they believed she was trustworthy. The poll said 56 per cent of respondents who indicated they would vote for Clinton found her trustworthy. In comparison, 52 percent of survey respondents who said they would vote for Trump said they found him trustworthy. The survey added that 90 per cent of all respondents said Clinton’s political experience made them more likely to vote for her, while 13 per cent of all respondents said Trump’s status as a political outsider made them more likely to vote for him.
About 91 per cent of respondents will be eligible to vote on Election Day, while 8 per cent are not US citizens, and 1 per cent are too young to vote. Crimson said two-thirds of surveyed undergraduates affiliated with the Democratic Party, compared to about 12 per cent who identified as Republican and 19 per cent who identified as independent. In The Crimson’s 2012 survey of Harvard undergraduates and graduate students, 77 per cent of respondents indicated they would vote for President Barack Obama, while 17 percent chose his Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
The survey said that 70 per cent of Harvard respondents view Clinton favourably, while 3.5 per cent of surveyed undergraduates view Trump favorably. Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, received a 46 per cent favourability rating, while Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, received an 8 per cent favorability rating.
On an average, 61 per cent of surveyed students found Clinton’s stance on immigration, trade, relations with police, counter-terrorism, taxes, environment, and the Syrian refugees crisis to be favorable. The Crimson said 72 per cent of respondents viewed
Clinton’s stances favorably on immigration and the environment, while 41 per cent viewed her stance on trade favorably.
On the other hand, eight per cent of those surveyed said they viewed Trump’s stance on immigration, trade, relations with police, counter-terrorism, taxes, environment, and the Syrian refugees crisis as favorable. “This year’s presidential candidates differ significantly in their relative amount of political experience. Clinton has been involved in politics for more than two decades, while Trump has never before held elected office,” the Crimson said.
Against the backdrop of the public controversies facing the two nominees, 49 per cent of respondents said that Clinton’s use of a private email server made them less likely to vote for her, while 46 per cent said her actions made no difference.
When asked about other controversies that the Clinton campaign has faced — including her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack and her paid speeches at Goldman Sachs — a majority of respondents said they had no opinion or that the controversies made no difference in whether they would vote for her.
Still, 34 per cent of students said Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attack made them less likely to vote for her, and 38 per cent of students said her speeches at Goldman Sachs made them less likely to vote for her. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said Trump’s comments on Muslim and Mexican immigrants made them less likely to vote for him.