A Marquette Tribune poll surveying the upcoming Marquette Student Government presidential election found that a plurality of its respondents picked Legislative Vice President Kyle Whelton and Natalie Pinkney, both juniors in the College of Arts & Sciences, as their choice for next MUSG president and executive president.
The poll, which was posted on the Tribune’s website before spring break, closed Monday afternoon with exactly 100 respondents.
When students were asked whom they planned on supporting in the presidential election, 47.5 percent responded with Whelton and Pinkney. Executive Vice President Zach Bowman and Marguerite Biagi, both juniors in the College of Arts & Sciences, followed with 20.2 percent of respondents saying they planned to support their ticket. In third, Programs Vice President Tyler Tucky, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Rosie De Luca, a junior in the College of Business Administration, received 10.1 percent of respondents’ support. Only 99 people responded to this question.
It is important to note, however, that these poll results were likely skewed by Whelton’s effort to circulate the poll through social media more effectively than his counterparts. Whelton’s campaign tweeted or posted the poll five times more than the combined efforts of the Bowman and Tucky campaigns.
“Just from my experience in looking at polling data, I wouldn’t (say) this is a representative sample,” Whelton said. “We definitely sent it out and the launch time may have affected the turnout.”
Still, Whelton said he was pleased with the results.
“That’s very positive,” Whelton said. “Natalie and I are really excited that support is coming out this way, but the real test will be on Wednesday.”
The poll also asked respondents to judge the job performance of the three presidential candidates, all of whom hold cabinet positions this year. Whelton was the only one whose performance was perceived positively by a majority of respondents, with 61 percent deeming his performance favorable, 15 percent saying it was unfavorable and 21 percent unsure.
“I’m honored by that,” Whelton said. “It’s reassuring, but I’m not going to say that it is the ultimate judgment of my performance in office.”
Bowman, on the other hand, did not fare as well. Fifty-five percent of the poll’s respondents judged Bowman’s job performance as unfavorable, with 31 percent saying his performance was favorable and 15 percent unsure. Bowman said he likely could have predicted this result.
“I’m the only one with a controversial job,” Bowman said. “I’ve had to turn down organizations from getting funding in that role.”
Like Bowman, Tucky’s job performance was rated negatively by a majority of respondents. Fifty percent of respondents viewed his performance as unfavorable, with 23 percent of respondents regarding it as favorable and 28 percent unsure. Tucky said he thought this poll response was a reflection of campaign, not his actual performance.
“I think a lot of it is campaigning,” Tucky said. “I took the survey.”
The poll also asked respondents to rank the issues most important to them. MUSG’s advocacy responsibility ranked as most significant, with 61 percent of respondents’ vote. Student Organization Funding ranked second, with 57 percent, and student programs came in third, with 30 percent. MUSG’s capability to approve new organizations trailed behind with 8 percent and 6 percent ranked “other” issues as being the most important.