William F. Buckley, Jr. Program Releases Part 1 of Annual Survey of American College Students

Updated:Sep 17, 2018

The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale

Contact: Lauren Noble: 203-745-1316


William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale Releases Part One of Annual Survey of Four-Year American College Students




By 4-1 Margin, Students Say Professors Backing Clinton for President



New Haven CT — Oct. 6…The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale today released Part One of its annual national survey measuring the opinions of U.S. college students.

Part One of the 2016 Buckley Program Survey focused on the upcoming U.S. presidential election. It was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates between September 17 and September 25, 2016, polling 800 full-time undergraduate students at four-year public and private colleges and universities across the country. The online survey has a +/- error estimate of 3.4%. Complete methodology for the survey and PowerPoint slides are available here.

According to the 2016 Buckley Program Survey, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican candidate Donald Trump by 23 points among four-year college students, with Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson receiving 17% of the college vote, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein commanding 7%. An additional 8% of college students surveyed say they will not vote in the November 8 presidential election and another 8% remain undecided.

Secretary Clinton leads the field among all ethnic demographics broken out, surpassing Mr. Trump 35-23 among white students, 58-9 among black students, and 50-15 among Hispanic students. Mrs. Clinton has the support of 74% of college Democrats; Mr. Trump is backed by 57% of college Republicans. Mr. Johnson is leading all other candidates among political independents at four-year schools. (Independents: Johnson 29%; Clinton; 25%; Trump 13%; Stein 11%).

Mrs. Clinton polls higher among students at private universities vs. public universities (48-39), as does Mr. Trump (22-17). Ms. Stein does best among college freshmen, garnering the support of 10% of first year students.

Students also believe by a four-to-one margin that professors and faculty at their schools “generally prefer” Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Trump as the next president.

“The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale seeks to expand the free and honest exchange of ideas and uninhibited intellectual diversity at Yale and beyond,” said Buckley Program founder and executive director Lauren Noble. “This year’s survey, which will be released in three parts over three days, reveals a treasure trove of information about national student opinions on everything from the presidential race to the First Amendment to civics and speech codes. This year’s results again confirmed some of what we expected and some troubling surprises.”

Part One the 2016 Buckley Program Survey also queried students on whether they most identify with the statement, “Black Lives Matter” (28%), “Blue Lives Matter” (5%), or “All Lives Matter” (59%). Hispanic students were the most likely to answer “All Lives Matter” (64%), while African-American students most identified with “Black Lives Matter” (60%), and Republican college students were the most likely to identify with the statement “Blue Lives Matter” (10%). “Blue Lives Matter” failed to record a score among black college students.

Part Two of the 2016 Buckley Program Survey will be released on Friday.