Stakeholders involved in higher education plan to vote for Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election, 62 percent to 34 percent, according to an informal survey of eCampus News readers.
Among those involved with public colleges and universities, the gap between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is even greater: 65 percent to 30 percent.
Nearly 200 eCampus News readers responded to a five-question online survey in August and September. The results of the survey, while unscientific, provide a snapshot of how those involved in higher education view this fall’s election.
Not surprisingly, the economy was the issue most important to readers, with 58 percent of higher-ed respondents indicating the economy as their first choice. Health care was next, with 20 percent of respondents saying it was the most important campaign issue and 69 percent saying it was among their top three issues.
Education was the third most important issue for readers.
“We cannot have a government where the wealthiest determine rule and law and where politicians owe their allegiance to the wealthy, because they subsidize their campaigns,” wrote one Obama supporter. “There must be a strong middle class, and the focus must be on all of the people of this country, not the wealthiest.”
“President Obama has had four years to make a difference,” wrote a Romney supporter. “When he was elected, his words were that if he couldn’t get the job [done], then we needed to get someone else—and I don’t see where he has even begun to get the economy back on track.”
With public funding for higher education on the decline, it’s also not a surprise that funding was the most important education-related issue to eCampus News readers: 29 percent gave this as their first choice, and 54 percent of readers chose funding as one of their top three education issues.
Revising No Child Left Behind was the next most important education issue to higher-ed survey respondents, with 34 percent of readers naming it as one of their top three choices, followed by student loans (30 percent).
Other education issues that were important to readers included school choice (28 percent), teacher evaluation (27 percent), STEM education (26 percent), Common Core standards and testing (26 percent), eLearning (22 percent), and policies regulating the for-profit education industry (11 percent).