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Voices of Trinity: Post-Election Straw Poll


Who did you hope would win the election?Two days after the 2016 Presidential Election, we took a straw poll of the Trinity campus community once more.  As the graph above reveals, and consistent with earlier campus polls, when asked who the respondents hoped would win the election, nearly 90% favored Hillary Clinton.  5% favored Donald Trump, and 4% favored the third party candidates or wrote in Bernie Sanders.  You can read the entire survey here: post-election-survey-2016

When asked about issues that would motivate their continued political engagement during the next four years, the top five responses of the Trinity campus respondents were:

  • Civil rights and racial justice (64%)
  • Women’s rights (59%)
  • Police brutality (49%)
  • Immigration reform and DACA protection (46%)
  • Jobs and Economic Growth (41%)

Questions 4 and 5 asked respondents to write reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the election, and why Donald Trump won.  Many wrote that Clinton lost because of sexism, alienation of voters from the Democrats, the FBI and the email scandal, and other issues well covered in national media.  For Trump, many wrote that he won because of hatred, racism, bigotry, jobs, fear, Russian intervention, false promises, a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton.  Read all of the responses in the poll report here post-election-survey-2016

Q 6:  Write a paragraph of President Trump’s inauguration speech on an issue important to you

We got some interesting replies to the question that invited respondents to write a paragraph for President-elect Trump’s inauguration speech.  Here is a selection of the best:

  • With regard to international relations, I will make every effort to work cooperatively with every nation. I will listen to the leaders, I will dialogue with them, we will identify and issues between us, we will work collaboratively to resolve them, we will look to the best interests of all, and we will engage objective mediators to guide us when needed. I will be open and accepting of results that will bring peace to our country, our people, and the world’s peoples. I will recognize the agenda that others bring and treat others respectfully, just as I will treat all Americans from this day forward.
  • I will ensure that there will be jobs and economic growth for our citizens. I will continue to protect women’s rights and let them make their own decisions with their bodies. I will improve the justice system in order to stop police brutality against our fellow African Americans by having a camera on every police officer. Even though I want the wall to be build I will protect the DACA program. I will only support traditional marriages because naturally human-beings are created from a woman and man. I will lower the college tuition for our college students.
  • This race brought to light a number of social ills that we have to address. There will be swift and strong reaction if groups or individuals attack others because of social, religious, political, or gender differences. I do not support the KKK or any other group that has a mission of hate against others. I will work hard to gain the support of all Americans to make a difference in your lives, in your problems, and in your healing. I will work with all members of the House & Senate to bring about the changes necessary to move this country forward.  We have to secure our boarders and be diligent in the screening process of foreigners we allow in this country but we must also be diligent in addressing social ills committed against our own citizens. We can not expect to invite strangers in our home and expect them to abide by our laws if the citizens who live here do not abide by the law. I will work hard to make the needed changes to bring jobs back to the US. I understand how it was beneficial for them to be sent overseas so I will work hard to make sure companies have the right laws & benefits to remain in the US (or bring their jobs back) to support American’s who have been disenfranchised. I will work to make the government run smarter & stronger and will not tear down without offering a better solution of how to move forward. I will make sure that the Affordable Care Act is amended to correct it’s deficiencies. I will not throw it out without having a stronger solution in place to support the citizens who need health insurance. We will work to find solutions to the mass incarceration of minorities who have been affected over the last 20+ years and put an end to the privatization of correctional facilities.
  • Social justice and fighting for equal rights for all races should be important. Make America great by treating all races as equals. We need a more unified America where people are not judged by the color of their skin but their character.
  • Dear Friends, I have had a change of heart. Instead of blaming the most vulnerable among us for our economic failures, we must strive to provide freedom from exploitation to all global citizens. The promise of America is a promise of liberty and justice for all. Minorities, women, religious minorities, the undocumented, and so many others have been living for 400+ years in conditions of disenfranchisement and alienation. They are just as deserving of justice and opportunity as we, the White men in power, are. I therefore propose to extend citizenship to all who currently live, work, raise families, and contribute to the engine of economic growth within our borders, to reform immigration law, and to ensure that the rights of all citizens are upheld. Also, to Trump nation, stop persecuting and bullying minorities and women. Stop it. Stop it right now.
  • We are all America. We can make America even better if we come together and respect what each group brings to them table. Take some time to sit in a union meeting at GM and consider how the loss of work will impacts those workers’ families and communities. Watch children become part of a loving family at an adoption event and consider how many lives are saved through caring regardless of whether the parent or parents are gay, straight, or anywhere on the spectrum. Sit with a veteran navigating our health care system and consider all the ways to allow for universal healthcare for everyone. Attend an underfunded educational institution in the school-to-prison pipeline and consider the ways to increase the training, monies, and opportunities to break the cycle. After you have considered everything, reach across the aisle and work together to make the necessary changes happen. America IS great. Let’s make her even better, together.
  • Dear Fellow Americans:  Each and every one of you is important to me. Not one of you is more important that the next. I will fight for every American. As promised, I will address our southern border. The border is open to those who want to come into the U.S. for work or school, but we must know who is coming into our country. We will provide you with documentation so that you can cross freely. If you have been convicted of a violent crime in the U.S., don’t bother coming to the border. Law abiding working folks that are already here, we will have a program for you. To all people of color, I have heard your concerns and I will continue to support the advancement of all people. If you are currently unemployed or underemployed, prepare yourselves. More jobs are on the way and we need each and every one of you. I ask that you all give me a fair chance as your President. I will fight for you. This economy will grow. God Bless America.
  • As I take this office I must first own up to my inadequacies. I must say that through out this campaign I have made some very uneducated assessments and I realize as President that I must stand for more than just my single mindset and position on issues. I must effectively consider the implication of both my words and actions and as Commander and Chief I am responsible for the welfare of all the people of this nation. Until you know the depth of issues this nation truly faces how can you properly and effectively address them. Division can not be addressed if it’s not first handled within each community. Strengthen the communities and you strengthen the nation. This Nation can not operate without the diverse population that offers both strength and stability.
  • I am not a tyrant. I must obey the Constitution.

Some respondents replied that they could not imagine writing anything, others wrote more about their political positions.  For the full set of replies see post-election-survey-2016

What’s ultimately clear from all of our straw polls taken throughout the election season (see others posted on this blog) and the comments of many members of the campus community, Trinity students, faculty and staff remain committed to the highest ideals of civic engagement, and are redoubling their efforts to stay involved and to work for justice every day.    While many hoped for a different result, everyone at Trinity knows that this election reflects the results of democracy, that we must come together to support our new president, raising our voices without fear to advocate what’s right, confront what’s wrong, and uphold our shared values for the sake of all people.

If you have other thoughts please share them via the comment link below.

See this Chronicle of Higher Education video of Trinity students and faculty commenting on the day after the election.

Read my Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed Raising a Voice for Academe on what might happen for higher education in a Trump Administration.

Follow me on Twitter @TrinityPrez

For the results of earlier Trinity Straw Polls on the election:

Trinity Straw Poll on Gender Issues in the 2016 Campaign

Trinity Straw Poll on Issues Two Weeks Before the Election

Trinity Straw Poll on the Presidential Debates

Trinity Straw Poll on the Electoral College

Trinity Straw Poll on Election 2016 as of September 1, 2016

Trinity Straw Poll of New Students on August 26, 2016

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: