NYU Political Awareness Survey


New York University College Republicans
Topic: Survey, Identify Political Figures
Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Location: On Campus, Next to Bobst Library

The NYU College Republicans hosted a survey on October 31, 2013, in order to gauge student knowledge of political figures and candidates. Participants were shown pictures of political figures and were asked to identify them. These included: President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Vice President Joseph Biden, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Mayoral Candidate Joseph Lhota. There were 48 participants, from 9 different NYU Schools. 50% were Female and 50% were male. Every student we asked could identify Barack Obama. Surprisingly, only 33% of NYU Students could identify Governor Cuomo. Eight people said he was Anthony Weiner. Vice President Biden was mistaken for Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.

 Politician Breakdown

One students said Mayor Bloomberg was Chairman Bernanke, and two students said he was former President George W. Bush. Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was mistaken for former Vice President Al Gore, and two people claimed Speaker Quinn was Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Mayoral Candidate Joseph Lhota was not mistaken for any politician but was consistently met with “I have no idea.” Participants that identified as Republican scored 57% better than those that identified themselves as Democrats. Students at the business school answered 60% of the questions correctly, the highest score of all schools.

We were disappointed but not surprised at the results of our survey.  New York, a state which was ranked last for voter turnout in 2010 by the United States Election Project at George Mason University, has a history of having the loudest commentary leading up to elections but the weakest voice the day of.  At a university where students color themselves predominantly blue and describe themselves as well-informed, it is stunning that they could not identify the democratic Governor.  Even more surprising is the lack of recognition of New York City Mayoral candidates de Blasio and Lhota less than one week before the election. As the minority party on campus, the NYU College Republican club strives to increase political awareness and participation on campus.  We feel very strongly that in order to identify with a party you must identify with it’s leaders, or at least be able to identify someone other than the President.

School Breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trackbacks for this post

  1. NYU undergrads don’t know Bloomberg from Bernanke | NYU Stern Economics