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Dickinson exit poll looks at Cumberland's preferences

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Voters wait in line to vote at the Middlesex Township Municipal Complex to vote on Tuesday morning.

Local pollsters from Dickinson College reported that Cumberland County residents were very eager to share their views on Tuesday.

Dickinson students conducted exit polls at 10 locations in Cumberland County, asking voters to fill out anonymous surveys about their political views and personal backgrounds.

Although data won’t be ready for several days, Dickinson political science professor Sarah Niebler said the goal is for students to identify trends in who voted for whom.

“It’s not about figuring out who won on the day,” Niebler said. “We’re much more interested in understanding why people might have voted for who they did.”

Survey questions ask for whom the respondent voted, but also ask for their views on specific subjects – including gun control, minimum wage, climate change and other topics. Information on race, age and other demographic data is also included.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see the actual correlation between different demographics and their views,” said Jessica Espinoza, one of Niedler’s students. “I’m from California, and the demographics here are obviously really different.”

The questionnaires also reference specific policy proposals put forward by the candidates, such as Trump’s controversial border wall. Students hope to see whether voters pick candidates based on party affiliation, or antipathy toward their opponent – or if their votes correlate to concrete policy stances.


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