Polling firm: 38 percent of college students see climate change as top issue

College Pulse Vice President of Marketing Jake Gaba said Wednesday that students see the environment and climate change as the "number one" issue in this election cycle.

“Students care about the issues. The top issues that we’ve seen repeatedly, though our time tracking student preference during this election season is number one, students care about the environment and climate change,” Gaba said in a Hill.TV interview.

Thirty-eight percent of Democratic college students rate climate as their top issue, while another 20 percent named wealth disparities, Gaba added, discussing polling conducted by College Pulse.

Gaba also said that college voters overwhelmingly back Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTop Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points GE employees urge company to use laid-off workers to make ventilators MORE (I-Vt.), whose policy priorities they agree with, over former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response MORE

“Bernie Sanders is leading among all demographics of college students no matter how you slice it,”  Gaba said.

The College Pulse executive noted polling from his firm that showed Sanders has 69 percent support among black college students, 76 percent among Hispanic students, 69 percent among white students, 73 percent among Asian students and 67 percent among multiracial students.

Asked by “Rising” co-host Saagar Enjeti whether college students would turn out in the general election if the party nominee is Biden, Gaba responded “That is one question we’re going to nail down specifically over this next week.”

Gaba noted that while data on college students’ willingness to vote for Biden was still forthcoming, about half had reservations on the current state of the primary.

“We can’t say for certain if Bernie supporters will still come out to vote if Biden is the nominee,” he said.

Biden is leading Sanders in the delegate count by a significant margin, after the progressive senator has failed to turn out as many young voters as he had hoped for.