Poll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April

Support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) among college students climbed to its highest mark since April, according to a new weekly Chegg-College Pulse poll.

The latest figures, released Thursday, found that 29 percent of likely Democratic voters attending college or university picked Sanders as their top choice for president. Support for Sanders in this election cycle peaked at 32 percent in April.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden were the only other White House contenders to win double-digit support in the Democratic field. Twenty-two percent of Democratic participants picked Warren, while 10 percent chose Biden. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) followed with 9 percent and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) with 7 percent.

The weekly poll also found that support for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped for the first time since June. Six percent of college voters said they support Harris, a 2 percentage point decline from the previous week.

Long-shot candidate Andrew Yang rounded out the list of candidates polling greater than 1 percent, with 5 percent support.

College Pulse CEO Terren Klein told Hill.TV this week that college students are poised to play a decisive role in the 2020 presidential election. Klein estimated that from 2014 to 2018, voter participation among students has jumped as much as 80 percent.

He said Democratic candidates should not overlook this key demographic on the campaign trail. Unlike some voting blocs, Klein said, students don’t care as much about electability as they do issues such as the environment.

“If you’re trying to connect with college students, you should really be focusing on what issues are important to them,” he said.

Chegg polled more than 1,500 college students nationwide from Aug. 13-14. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

—Tess Bonn


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