Polar Poll 2017

Whenever I teach “Quantitative Analysis in Political Science” I administer a poll of Bowdoin students.  The students help me design the survey questions, and we send it to a random sample of 500 Bowdoin student emails.  I’ve taken to calling it the “Polar Poll,” as Bowdoin’s mascot is the Polar Bear.

Full results for this year’s poll are forthcoming soon, but here are some initial findings.  We asked students this year to assess their own political ideology on a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being very conservative.  We also asked students to assess their support for messages implied by popular Twitter #hashtags in 2016, in particular #blacklivesmatter and #lockherup.  The scatter plots of ideology and support are below.  The red lines show the smoothed relationship.

In general, support for #blacklivesmatter is much higher than moves to imprison Secretary Clinton, but this support falls for some (but not all) more conservative students.  In contrast, support for locking up Clinton rises along the scale but is generally less supported.

More to come as we assess the data…

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