Students from Mercyhurst University are hard at work preparing for the 2020 Presidential election. A series of surveys are underway, asking residents throughout Erie County about President Donald Trump, his democratic challengers and hopes for Erie’s economy.
Since 2016, students at Mercyhurst’s Center for Applied Politics have conducted a series of polls to measure Erie County’s residents’ opinions.
One call at a time, one question at a time, students are tracking the race to the White House.
“We use our students here on campus to conduct the polls. It’s a volunteer based center and we’re calling the community of Erie about important issues facing the nation and the presidential elections.” said Kaitlin Johnson, an Intelligence Studies Major.
More than 400 registered voters in Erie County are receiving a phone call from students at Mercyhurst’s Center for Applied Politics. They’ll be asked a series of questions regarding the Trump Administration on topics like housing, taxing and the economy. During the polling process, students are also asking voters their opinions on upcoming democratic presidential candidates.
“We’re focused almost exclusively on public perception on Donald Trump. We ask what people think in terms of how he’s doing as President, how they feel about how he is handling certain issues and a wide variety of other questions.” said Dr. Joe Morris, political analyst at Mercyhurst.
Morris saying the center works as a public service for the community in hopes of gaining better insight on the county’s political views. The polling gives students the opportunity to prepare for political science professions.
“This is really good work experience. I’ve gotten two years of management experience helping students figure out problems and just learn more about public opinion.” said Luke Sveda, an Intelligence Studies Major at Mercyhurst.
Polling is also a way for students to be apart of and capture a piece of history. After the polling is completed, students will create a trend line of answers to help predict trends for the upcoming election.