Poll: Sanders hits 50 percent support among college students

Fully half of U.S. college students nationally back Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential bid, according to the latest poll from Chegg/College Pulse, more than double the support of his nearest rival.

“[Sanders] has increased his position, he’s now at 50 percent of college students,” Bonny Brown, Chegg’s head of research, told Hill.TV Thursday, adding that, among the group, Sanders polls strongly in every demographic because he speaks to the issues that most concern them.

“There is one thing that really unites them, that really worries them, and that is climate change,” Brown said. The second most important issue for college students, she added, is income inequality.

Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has detailed policy plans to combat both of these issues, as well as his signature “Medicare for All” health care plan.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who also touts a version of Medicare for All, comes in second in the poll at 18 percent. Brown noted that Sanders has recently expanding his lead over his progressive rival, a trend that it also reflected in broader national polls.

Entrepreneur and businessman Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the race Tuesday night amid a weak showing in the New Hampshire primary, was at 10 percent.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the race, received only 8 percent support, though Brown said that Buttigieg has performed much stronger regionally.

For example, before the Iowa caucuses, 19 percent of college students in the state said that they supported the former mayor.

In New Hampshire, 23 percent of college kids supported Buttigieg. 

In the state’s primary this week, Buttigieg narrowly came in second behind Sanders with 24 percent of the vote. The two candidates virtually tied in Iowa, with Sanders claiming the popular vote and Buttigieg taking an edge in delegates.

Brown added that Chegg is in the process of surveying college students in Nevada, home of the next Democratic caucus.

Chegg/College Pulse surveys more than 1,500 full and part-time students attending two- and four-year colleges or universities across the United States on a weekly basis. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.