On Oct. 25, a poll was conducted by Dr. Mark O’ Gorman, professor of American government and policy, and his PLS 231 class. This survey asked Maryville College students to give their opinions on the upcoming presidential election. Out of the 1078 students on campus, 271 participated and shared their views on the upcoming election.
“It’s really exciting because that’s about 25 percent of the student population,” O’ Gorman said. First conducted in 2,000, the election survey has become a tradition at MC. During every presidential election, the class holds a mock election that attempts to predict the results of the election.
The students individually think of possible questions to ask their peers that include inquiries about party affiliations and primary concerns in the upcoming election. In class, the students break up into five groups and each group composes six questions. They then take those questions and reduce the number to 17, which they post on the Tartan for all MC students to answer. O’Gorman is happy with the amount of student participation for this year’s survey and is thankful for all the help he had in making it a success.
In addition to the work that done by members of the PLS 231 class, Dr. Steven James, director of instructional technology, and Mark Fugate, director of informational technology, were also invaluable in helping to set up the website and deal with the technical aspects of the survey.
The responses that students have given seem to reflect the anticipated voting patterns of the actual presidential race. The number of votes that each respective party has received is fairly equal, although the O’Gorman notes that based on their feedback from the survey, the student body at MC tends to be more progressive.
Based off the feedback, the mock election will be close. The final tabulation will be revealed on Mon., Nov. 5. The communications office at MC will be provided the full report of the results of the mock election. Although the mock election is exciting for Maryville College, O’ Gorman wants to stress the importance of going out and voting in the actual presidential election “I just hope everyone does one thing: vote,” said O’Gorman.