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Sample Of Likely Bloomington Voters Finds 20 Percent Undecided For President


An Illinois Wesleyan political science department survey of some likely Bloomington voters shows an unusually high number--20 percent--remain undecided about who to vote for president.

Students in Tari Renner's Elections and Research Methods and Statistics classes polled 421 likely Bloomington voters over three days last week. IWU student Robert Perez served as the lead research assistant. During Sound Ideas, Renner said Democrat Hillary Clinton was the choice of 40 percent of respondents, Republican Donald Trump 27 percent, Green Party hopeful Jill Stein 20 percent, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson 10 percent,  and 20 percent undecided.

"We've never had more than 10. It's usually seven or eight percent undecided, especially in a presidential race this close. Most of the undecideds were Republicans, which is why our survey is probably underestimating the vote that Trump is liable to be getting," Renner said.

He added, in a typical presidential election, the major candidates split the undecided vote fairly evenly, but he said this is anything but a typical election.

Renner's students also developed a hypothetical governor's race between incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner, and Democrat U. S. Senator Dick Durbin, who's rumored to be weighing a bid in 2018. In that poll, Durbin came out on top, 44 percent to 36 percent with, again, 20 percent undecided.

The IWU students also asked the voters about key issues, among them:

  • If there were a detailed screening process, would you support or oppose a policy of permitting Syrian refugees into the United States?    57% Support, 33% Oppose 10% Other
  • Would you say you favor or oppose the legalization of recreational use of marijuana?  53% Favor, 38% Oppose, 9% Other
  • Which comes closest to your view--gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, or gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry, or there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship?  63% Allowed, 19% Civil Unions, 11% No Recognition, 6% Other
  • The U. S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe V. Wade that a woman has the right to an abortion if she chooses at any time during the first three months of pregnancy. Would you say that you generally favor or generally oppose that ruling?  61% Favor, 32% Oppose 7% Undecided
  • How serious a problem would you say that race relations are in America today?  53% Very Serious, 36% Somewhat Serious, 6% Not Very Serious, 3% Not Serious At All
  • How convinced are you that global warming or the greenhouse effect is actually happening--would you say you are completely convinced, mostly convinced, not so convinced, or not at all convinced?  39% Completely Convinced, 25% Mostly Convinced, 22% Not So Convinced, 10% Not Convinced At All, 4% Undecided

The poll carries a 5 percent margin of error.

Willis is a Bloomington, IL, native. During his senior year at Bloomington High School, he finished third in the "Radio Speaking" division of the state speech contest, the only year he competed.