Overview: To determine the impact of the first Democratic debates of the 2020 election season upon college students, WBRU commissioned College Reaction to conduct an online poll of 515 current college students from July 1st – July 2nd. College Reaction utilizes a customized approach which aims to offer all members of a college's population an equal opportunity to be surveyed. Samples represent the US college student population and are weighted to best capture the geographic, political and ethnic variation within the college demographic.

Key Findings:

• 26% of students watched one or both of the Democratic Presidential Debates

• Of those who changed their candidate preference after the debates, 29% switched to Kamala Harris, 16% to Pete Buttigieg and 12% to Elizabeth Warren.

• Among those who watched either debate, the candidates they would most like to learn more about are Kamala Harris (15.1%), Julian Castro (12.2%), Pete Buttigieg (11.9%), and Andrew Yang (11.1%).

• Of those who watched either debate, 26% were most impressed by Kamala Harris, followed by Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren at 14%.

• Climate change remains the most important issue to college students – 31% cited it, followed by the economy at 18% and Healthcare at 11%.


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