|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - November 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Student poll finds voters most concerned about the economy
Polk County Enterprise - November 2008
LIVINGSTON — Students at the Continuum Academy conducted an exit poll of voters casting ballots at Precinct Box 4 at Livingston City Hall during Tuesday’s General Election. The student pollsters asked voters to identify their own race, gender and age bracket for basic demographic information and then asked fi ve additional questions about issues affecting the election. Calculating the responses revealed the following about Polk County voters: • 84 percent of voters were white • 62 percent of voters were female • McCain (69 percent) handedly won over Obama (30 percent) • White females accounted for 58 percent of Obama’s votes • 17 percent were fi rst-time voters even though only 8 percent of the voters were in the 18 to 24 age bracket • Overwhelming, voters cited economics as their most infl uential factor determining their presidential vote (50 percent); Education came in a distant second with only 22 percent of voters marking it as their determining factor; Surprisingly immigration came in last of the 10 possible choices Poll questions were created by the students of Continuum Academy. Students asked participants who they voted for in the presidential race; what single issue most influenced their presidential vote; the age/race/gender factor that affected their vote; whether they had ever voted in a presidential election; and whether or not they had voted in the 2004 presidential election. The students set up their exit data headquarters at Livingston City Hall (Box 7) identifying themselves as Continuum Academy students with name tags and clipboards in hand. The exit poll culminated their month-long study on political campaigns, the Electoral College, and the American presidency. While polling throughout the morning and afternoon, the students discussed ideas about improving their poll for the next election. The group decided they want to include information about local elections, party affiliation, and income. Campaign supporters for Sheriff Kenneth Hammack, who were at the same location as the students, provided encouragement and constructive criticism as the temperature rose and the task grew tiresome, said Continuum Academy staff member Amy Jackson. The students saw first-hand Wednesday morning the importance of exit poll data when they started comparing their Polk County data to the data broadcast nationally. Overall, the experience proved exciting for the students and valuable to Polk County.