Donald Trump is really, really unpopular at Harvard

Plus four other surprising 2016 election-related results from the school's senior survey.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Eugene, Ore., Friday, May 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
–Ted S. Warren / AP

The Harvard Crimson released its annual, wide-ranging survey of the university’s senior class on Tuesday.

And since ’tis the season, the Class of 2016 was polled on their views about the presidential election, yielding some surprising results. It turns out the political views of the Ivy League school’s graduating class differ a bit from the rest of the country.

Harvard is no Trump University 

Regardless of the presumptive Republican nominee’s recent bump in national general election polls, to say Donald Trump isn’t finding much traction on campus in Cambridge would be a wild understatement.

According to the poll, just 4 percent of Harvard seniors said they would vote for Trump, while 87 percent say they would vote for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, if the election were held today. Against Bernie Sanders, Trump’s support rose to 7 percent, compared to 79 percent for the Vermont senator.


Additionally, only 2 percent of Harvard seniors said they had already voted for Trump during the primary, either in Massachusetts or their home state.

Tough life for college Republicans, part infinity 

To be fair to Trump, Republican presidential candidates in general did not fare well at Harvard. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republican who fared the best on the survey, was voted for by just 6 percent of the senior class in the primary. Five percent voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Just 5 percent said they viewed the Republican Party favorably, compared to 83 percent who viewed the party unfavorably.

Among registered Republicans included in the poll, 69 percent said they felt embarrassed by the 2016 Republican primary cycle, which has had its ups and downs in terms of discourse.

According to survey, “not a single female registered Republican surveyed reported feeling proud of the party.”

Harvard is feeling the burn…

On the issues, Harvard seniors are much more concerned with climate change than the rest of the country. With 39 percent calling it “extremely” important, climate change was second only to the economy in terms of priority.

That level of concern among Harvard students represents a virtual (increasingly rising) ocean of difference compared to the rest of the country.


According to a national Gallup poll on the top campaign issues in February, climate change was last on the list of voter concerns among the issues tested.

…but not so much the Bern

Despite Sanders’s booming popularity among younger voters, his support is actually in the minority at Harvard (contrary to multiple reports stating otherwise), or at least its senior class.

And it’s not even close.

Of the three remaining candidates, 67 percent said they support Clinton, 28 percent said they support Sanders, and 5 percent said they support Trump. Additionally, 56 percent of those polled said they had already voted for the former secretary of state, while just 29 percent said they had voted for Sanders.

Romney 2012ers are #ImWithHer

In another sign of Republican leaning student’s dissatisfaction with the 2016 GOP primary (and it’s ultimate victor), a majority of those who said they voted for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 said they would vote for Clinton.

Of those who were eligible to vote in 2012, 19 percent said they voted for Romney. But 57 percent of that group said they now plan to vote for Clinton in the general election. While just more than one in four—27 percent—say they plan to vote for the presumptive 2016 GOP nominee in November.

Meanwhile, another 16 percent of former Romney voters said they would prefer Sanders.

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