What college students say about Biden, Trump and democracy

Black students were the most likely to say Biden can bring the country together
By: | November 20, 2020
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While “a strong majority” of college students supported Joe Biden in the election, less than half think the president-elect can unify the nation, a new survey has found.

Black students were the most optimistic about Biden bringing the country together, with 44% saying it is somewhat likely and 10% calling it extremely likely, according to a Chegg.org/College Pulse poll of 2,000 students from 116 colleges.

Only 2% of white students, 3% of Asian students, and 4% of Latino students said it is extremely likely that “Biden can heal the country’s divisions.”

Three-quarters of the students surveyed voted for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, including 8% of those who identified as Republican.


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However, only a slight majority are confident that the issues that are most important to them—such as the racial divide—can be addressed by the new administration.

For instance, among students who identified racial inequality as their No. 1 concern, 70% are confident the Biden-Harrs administration will find solutions.

On the other hand, 55% of students whose top concern is gun policy say Biden won’t make progress on the issue.

Beyond candidates Biden and Donald Trump, only 44% of students said they felt proud to be an American though 58% believe the United States is still a democracy.

Students who identify as strong Republicans are significantly more likely to said they felt proud to be an American but 38% of Black students and 21% of Latinx students reported that they do not feel proud to be American.

The survey also identified a gender gap in those who feel confident Vice President-elect Harris is prepared to be president.

More than 70% of female respondents said the California senator is prepared to become the nation’s first female president while only a little more than half of male students endorsed Harris’ readiness to be commander in chief.


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Overall, 83% of the students surveyed said they voted. Those who didn’t vote said it was because they didn’t like either candidate or never received a mail-in ballot.

Strong Republicans were significantly more likely than strong Democrats to have voted in person on Election Day, a margin of 42% to 15%.

Finally, just about half (49%) of the students said the military should step if Trump refuses to concede and there’s no smooth transition of power.