RMU students participate in presidential poll

With the 2012 presidential election less than a year away and the Republican primary heating up, 120 RMU students participated in a presidential poll to see which candidate they will support. Students conducted the poll during a voter registration event on Nov. 8 through Nov. 10.

The results of the poll showed that many RMU students are divided and the 2012 presidential election is shaping up to be a very close race.

Among the students surveyed, 41 percent said they belong to the Republican Party, 40 percent identified themselves as members of the Democratic Party, 13 percent as Independents and six percent said they belong to another political party.

Students who said they are Republicans were asked which candidate they would support during the Republican primary process. For junior Grant Faulkner, the choice was clear.

“I don’t agree with Obama, so I’d vote for a Republican regardless, but the candidate I’m supporting is Mitt Romney. I think he is the best bet for Republicans to beat Obama,” Faulkner said. “Romney seems the most presidential and I agree with many of his views.”

According the poll, Romney is the favorite among Republicans, receiving 30 percent of student support. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum followed Romney with 15 percent. Businessman Herman Cain, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry were tied at almost 13 percent.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann polled slightly less, with Paul at 10 percent and Bachmann at seven percent. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman had no support among the students polled.

The poll also asked students whom they would support in a hypothetical matchup for president in the general election on Nov. 6, 2012.  In a race between President Barack Obama and Romney, Romney has a close lead of 51 percent to 49 percent.

However, in matchups against Perry, Cain and Gingrich, Obama fares better. If the race were between Obama and Perry, 53 percent choose Obama, while 47 percent choose Perry. Obama leads Gingrich 55 to 45 percent. Obama has the biggest lead over Cain with 57 percent of students supporting Obama and 43 percent choosing Cain.

Junior Laura Ellenbogen stated that regardless of the Republican opponent, she plans on supporting President Obama.

“I think the president is doing a great job. The country wasn’t in the best shape when he came into office and I think he’s handled things well,” said Ellenbogen. “I don’t think the Republicans have any good candidates running on their side anyway.”

The numbers from RMU students demonstrate that 2012 is likely to be a close race. Many students are still undecided though.

“There is still a lot of time left to decide, so I haven’t really thought about which candidate I want to vote for,” said sophomore Kim Phillips. “I think once it gets closer to the election, I’ll start to pay attention more so I can make an informed decision.”