Penn State’s Young Americans for Freedom straw poll results show Sarah Palin and Ron Paul are some of campus students’ top picks for the 2012 presidential ballot.
YAF, an on-campus political conservative group, began the new semester by holding a straw poll at a table outside the HUB-Robeson Center to see who passersby thought would make the 2012 ballot.
Of the 15 possible selections, Palin and Paul tied for first with 19 percent each of the 54 student votes, with Mike Huckabee as a runner-up with 17 percent.
Mitt Romney came close to the top with 15 percent.
Young Americans for Freedom Chairman Samuel Settle said four of the top five vote receivers were contenders in the 2008 presidential election.
“We decided to do this because with the 2010 election over, the discussion will soon turn toward the 2012 election,” Settle (junior-political science and history) said. “We want to see where the student opinion is on the issue.”
Students could choose their selections from a list of 15 names picked by members of the Young Americans for Freedom.
This is the first year the group has held such a poll — the 15 possible names were chosen based on who were serious presidential contenders in the past or those who had rumors of potential presidential interest in 2012, Settle said.
The list also included local names, like former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
David Carr (junior–economics), a member of YAF, said the poll was a good way to track students’ opinions. It’s important that students start thinking ahead to the election, he said.
Carr said there was a solid amount of student interest on Monday, but the table closed early Tuesday because of the snow.
Mallory Reed (junior-political science), secretary of the Penn State College Democrats, said the results of the poll were not representative of the student body, because conservative students were more likely to vote in it.