Politically independent college students favor structural reforms to reduce partisanship, N.C. poll finds

If the opinions of a sample of U.S. college students are to be trusted, American politics will need to become decidedly less partisan in the decades ahead.   That’s according to research undertaken by Omar H. Ali, a University of North Carolina-Greensboro professor.

Omar Ali, Ph.D.

Omar Ali, Ph.D.

Ali polled 1,246 college students at 16 North Carolina campuses over two months who self-identified as neither Democrat nor Republican and asked them 21 questions. “A plurality of college students self-identify as independent regardless of how they are registered to vote,” says Ali. Nearly two-thirds expressed being anti-party and said they don’t want to be labeled as partisan.

“College independents say they strongly favor structural political reforms that would reduce partisanship in the political process,” Ali also wrote in an analysis of his research, adding: “The overall results suggest the emergency of a non-partisan politics among younger voters.”

The survey was conducted over eight weeks from September through November 2012.

The survey report, released in August, can be downloaded from HERE. 

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