By Micah McIntyre, News Editor
For just the third time in American history, an impeachment inquiry has been launched in the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally announced the start of the inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine on Sept. 24. Like much else about the Trump presidency, the spectre of impeachment has divided the American people, who await news of the president’s political future as hearings are held in the U.S. Capitol.
To gauge the feelings of Wheaton students, the Record used the forum board and flyers around campus to distribute a short, electronic survey via QR code for any student to freely and anonymously voice their opinions about impeaching President Trump. In the survey, 100 students responded to a series of questions about impeachment, their political leanings and general questions about the impeachment process to test their knowledge of the subject.
Students were asked basic demographic questions about their gender, year and major to gain a basic understanding of who responded to the survey.
The freshman class made up just under 40% of the total number of 100 respondents. The junior class produced the second most with 28%, followed by the sophomores with 25% and seniors with just under 7%. The number of male and female respondents varied between the classes, but in total 60% were male and 40% were female.
Nearly every major was represented, with the most number of responses coming from International Relations and Business/Economics and equal representation between Applied Health Science, Biology and Chemistry. The humanities and sciences were evenly represented throughout the survey.
Of the respondents, 51% did not support impeaching President Trump, 40% supported it and nine percent were unsure about their support. This is the opposite of the national averages. An Oct. 20 CNN poll shows 50% of registered voters support impeachment and 43% do not.
Wheaton students who politically align with the Democratic and Independent parties comprise the biggest proponents of impeachment. Almost 85% of Republican students did not support the impeachment, whereas 77% of democrats and 63% of independents did support it.
When asked to rate their level of confidence in the probability of their preference, the vast majority of students reported feeling confident or very confident in their decision, but Republican respondents were more confident in their decisions than students of other parties.
Although the number of Wheaton students who said they did not support impeachment is larger than the same group in national surveys, the number of supporting women align with the national trend. At Wheaton, 63% of women supported the impeachment of President Trump, compared to 56% nationally, according to a recent CNN poll.
To conclude the survey, students were asked about their participation in the 2016 presidential election and their possible participation in the upcoming election. The responses of students in every class revealed that 71% did not vote in the previous election. However, 77% answered that they would definitely vote in the next election and another 16% answered that they would most likely vote.