Examining Elizabeth Warren’s Popularity Among College Students

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Thursday, November 14, 2019


As Democrats prepare to nominate a candidate to try and defeat President Trump in 2020, we have seen the favored candidate change in the polls within the past weeks. For a large majority of the summer and leading into the early weeks of fall, former Vice President Joe Biden seemed to be cruising towards the nomination. However, gaffes both on and off the campaign trail have cost him the lead in some polls and a new leader has emerged. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has seen a surge in popularity among college students, has a three percent lead on former Vice President Biden in a Fox News poll.

One area where Senator Warren has performed well is college students. In a poll from College Reaction/Axios, Warren holds a two percent lead over President Trump, although this poll includes all of the remaining Presidential candidates. One reason for this is her college reform plan, which had 64% support in a poll from a Hill-HarrisX survey in April. Her plan would make community college and state college tuition free and pay off most existing student loans and debt.

Warren’s Tax Plan

Senator Warren has proposed several ways to cancel student debt, one of them being her wealth tax. According to CNBC, her plan would include a two percent tax on households with a net worth of $500 million. That rate goes up to three percent on households with a net worth of one billion dollars. Along with cancelation of student debt and tuition free college, Warren claims this would help universal child care as well. Other parts of Warren’s tax plan include an excessive lobbying tax (35% on firms that spend between $500,000 and one million dollars, 60% on one million to five million dollars, and 75% on all spending above five million dollars), repealing the Trump tax cuts, and raising taxes on guns from ten percent to thirty percent and taxing ammunition at 50%. These are just a few of the proposals offered by Senator Warren but these will likely be the ones that raise eyebrows among college students. A hole that could easily be poked in those plans are the other ways she plans to pay for her proposals which will likely cause taxes on not just the upper class, but lower and middle classes to be raised.

Trouble for Warren and other Democrats

A 2016 poll from Stock-Trak Inc could spell some trouble for Senator Warren and several other 2020 Democrats. Students who were eligible to vote in the election picked President Trump by over three percent, although he only had 38.9% support in this poll with 10.5% picking a candidate not on the ballot. The numbers get more troublesome for Democrats among students not eligible to vote, where Trump had 43.8% support. Although the students polled had strong backgrounds from economics classes, this should frighten Warren and other Democrats. Students who were not eligible to vote last time around were not as receptive to Bernie Sanders’ policies and, since Warren and other Democrats are in favor of those same policies, they are setting themselves up for failure. Another issue that could come up for the Democrats in general once again is the lack of support for the nominee. We saw this in 2016 with Sanders’ supporters splitting between Trump, Clinton, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. This cost Clinton the election and if there are enough people not satisfied with either the Republican or Democrat nominees, we could see a similar result as 2016.

Despite a poor debate performance and being viewed as a weak front runner by pundits like Ben Shapiro, Senator Warren will still have a lot of support among college students due to her proposals and being perceived as a fresher face compared to Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. With the Iowa caucuses just more than three months away, we will see if Warren’s support among college students will translate into votes at the ballot box.

Matthew Edwards graduated from Illinois State University in December 2017 with a degree in political science and mass media. While he isn’t writing he is watching sports, going to concerts, and active in several church activities. He hopes to work for Fox News someday in production or as an on-air personality.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Matthew Edwards

Illinois State University

Matthew Edwards graduated from Illinois State University in December 2017 with a degree in political science and mass media. While he isn’t writing he is watching sports, going to concerts, and active in several church activities. He hopes to work for Fox News someday in production or as an on-air personality.

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