While numerous college campuses are holding counseling sessions and protests in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, a majority of Hillsdale College students said they were satisfed with the results.
Of 457 students, 49 percent said they voted for the Republican candidate, though 38 percent of respondents said they were “satisfied” that he won and another 20 percent reported being “extremely satisfied.” Although Trump supporters increased from The Collegian’s Oct. 20 poll of 493 students, it remained far below the 90 percent Republican nominee Mitt Romney secured from Hillsdale students in 2012.
Trump gained 6 points from the October poll. Democrat Hillary Clinton dropped from 6 percent to 4 percent. Professor of Politics Thomas West said when it comes to actually voting, they have to choose the better option.
“You don’t vote for the candidate you like,” West said. “You vote for who will do the better job.”
Although Trump won the most support of all the categories, the second largest was students who didn’t vote at all this election with 20 percent of the vote. Another 2 percent said they voted down ticket but not for president. In the October survey, only 11 percent said they weren’t planning on voting for president.
Many college students use absentee ballots to vote, and several students said they didn’t vote because their ballot didn’t make it to them. The choice in candidate, however, could have played a factor, as well, Professor of Politics Thomas West said.
“People thought, ‘He says so many bad things,’” West said. “‘He’s kind of a racist. He does these things to women.’ But then, Hillary may be the most corrupt candidate ever in history.”
As a result of the decrease in Hillsdale participation in the election, third party and independent candidates suffered. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson went from 20 percent support to 11 percent. Independent Evan McMullin fell from 11 percent to 8 percent.
“That’s a normal thing,” politics department chairman Mickey Craig said. “Third parties lose traction the closer you get to election day. Look at Ross Perot. He was higher in the polls than when he won on election day. As crunch time comes, people flock to one of the two major candidates.”
Finishing out the election results, the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle received 2 percent, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein and the Natural Law Party’s Emidio Mimi Soltysik earned less than 1 percent. Others received 1 percent of the survey votes.
As for satisfaction of the election results, junior Noah Weinrich said he was surprised by the results.
“Some people might have opposed him because of what he said for personal and moral reasons,” Weinrich said. “But they’re happy that the Republican won and have Congress, too.”
Not everyone is happy with the results, though. More than 20 percent said they were “neutral” on the presidential election results, 13 percent “dissatisfied,” and 8 percent “extremely dissatisfied.”
Overall, however, students appear to be keeping an open mind for a Trump presidency.
“I’m very satisfied, and I’m very relieved that Hillary Clinton won’t be president,” Craig said. “This is the happiest I’ve been after an election since 1980. Just like it was removing Carter, it is a relief to not have the Clintons back in the White House.”