Religion and Politics, Part I

Just a brief post right now in anticipation of some polling results to be discussed tomorrow.  I’ve decided that I’m going to conduct a poll of all of my students today in an effort to partially understand the political tone here on campus.  I will probably see about 50 students today, which is around 5% of the student population here at Northwest University.  Numbers will be roughly split between those in the College of Ministry and elsewhere.  To conduct the survey I will be using what looks like an excellent (and free!) tool for this type of thing: the website Poll Everywhere.

I’ll be asking about my students’ choice in the presidential election in addition to two high-profile voter initiatives here in Washington State: 1) the legalization of marijuana and 2) the legalization of gay marriage.

Traditionally, white evangelicals and Pentecostals tend to be on the conservative end of politics, so my suspicions are that the results I find will broadly indicate the same.  Even so, complicating factors such as the Pacific Northwest culture and the unique generational perspectives my students bring may push them in some different directions.  Libertarian influence may also have some impact on the marijuana initiative.

I look forward to sharing my results tomorrow.  Until then, anyone care to guess how and why the students of Northwest University will vote the way they do?

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3 comments on “Religion and Politics, Part I

  1. Garland says:

    It will be interesting to see the level of honesty. Often I feel like a student will give the “right” (no pun intended) answer because of the context. Praying for authenticity.

  2. Viletta says:

    I think the results might be surprising. There is a large Latino population in the WA area. Not sure if that’s reflected in your class makeup. It will be interesting to see the results, though.

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