Jun 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

College students want Warren as Biden's VP pick

Joe Biden claps in the direction of Elizabeth Warren during a primary debate in December
Warren and Biden during a primary debate in Los Angeles in December. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Even as the protests over the killing of George Floyd have upped the urgency for Joe Biden to select a black running mate, college students are favoring Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The poll shows that progressive ideology is still a top consideration for young voters — though it also found that two African-American women, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, had substantial support.

By the numbers:

  1. Warren - 28%
  2. Harris - 19%
  3. Abrams - 13%
  4. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer - 11%
  5. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (since withdrawn from consideration) - 8%
  6. Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice - 7%
  7. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - 6%
  8. Sen. Tammy Duckworth - 4%
  9. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham - 2%
  10. Rep. Val Demings - 1%

Reality check: The protests of police brutality against African Americans have shifted the political calculus toward selecting a black nominee. Harris is the betting favorite, according to PredictIt, followed by Demings and Rice.

  • College students don't see it as an urgent factor: less than half of those surveyed selected a black candidate.

The coronavirus threat looms as a key factor for turnout: 12% of college students say they won't or probably won't vote in November if it must be in person. That drops to 6% if mail-in voting is an option.

  • That discrepancy applied across all age groups could mean a difference of millions of votes.

Methodology: The poll was conducted June 17-18 from a representative sample of 854 college students with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

College Reaction’s polling is conducted using a demographically representative panel of college students from around the country. The surveys are administered digitally and use college e-mail addresses as an authentication tool to ensure current enrollment in a four-year institution. The target for the general population sample was students currently enrolled in accredited 4-year institutions in the United States.

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