This morning, I ended the 2021 YWS Poll. There were 38 respondents and 7 different questions. Based on the responses of the previous survey, the questions were modified so as to contain less bias. The results of this survey will allow me to analyze how YWS has changed since I published the results of the first survey on October 21, 2021. You can read those results here.
Based upon the results of the original survey, the national mood, and the ages of the respondents, YWS will overall remain left of center, approve of Biden's presidency (above an average score of 5), disapprove of the Capitol riots, think unity is an important part of the President's agenda, and consider that the COVID-19 pandemic may potentially end during the Bide presidency.
Question 1: How would You describe your political affiliation?
This is a standard, generic questions most surveys have so as to help determine how a group leans politically. There was not a majority, though a plurality (26.3%, or 10 respondents) identified as Democrats. The next largest group (21.1%, or 8 respondents) identified as Center Left. Liberals made up 13.2%, or 5 respondents, and thus placed third. 5.2% (2 respondents) replied with "middle-ground liberal" and "independent progressive" and thus were not grouped into any of these three groups. Altogether, this creates (in theory) a politically left majority of 65.8%, or 25 respondents.
The minority consists of a coalition of Republicans (10.5%, or 4 respondents), Libertarians (7.9%, or 3 respondents), Conservatives 7.9%), (Constitutional (2.6%, or 1 respondent), and Center Right (2.6%). There was also one Centrist. This minority makes up 34.2%, or 13 respondents.
This disproves a portion of my initial hypothesis-- I believed that YWS would lean to the left. However, 65.8% compared to 34.2% leaves a gap of 31.6 points. That is no small margin, and it is not one easily ignored. This, however, should not have been surprising to me, given that 64.5% chose to be apart of a left wing majority in the original survey. I will take this into account for future surveys.
Question 2: Which of the following describes your gender?
42.1% (or 16) respondents were female. 26.3% (10) were male. 15.8% (6) preferred not to say. The remaining 15.6% responded as "agender," "unsure," or "nonbinary."
Question 3: Which of the following best describes you?
42.1% of respondents were under the age of 18. 31.6% (12) were between the ages of 18 and 24. 10.5% (4) were between the ages of 25 and 30. 5.3% (2) were between the ages of 30 and 40. The remaining 10.5% preferred not to say. This is in line with my hypothesis that the political responses of respondents would be in line with their ages, given that younger survey takers have typically given similar responses.
Question 4: Do you approve the actions of the violent mob at the Capitol on January 6, 2021
84.2% (32 respondents) chose "no." This was one of the two the largest margins of agreement in the entire survey. 10.5% (4 respondents) chose "some actions more than others." 2.6% (1) chose "yes"; the remaining 2.6% preferred not to say. Given that the actions January 6 were so extreme, I was frankly surprised that there was a person on YWS that approved of what happened. This is in line with my hypothesis,
Question 5: How would you describe the Biden presidency as it currently stands on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "worst" and 10 being "best"?
Based on the scores given by respondents, President Biden has a score of 6.4 after it is rounded to the nearest tenth. 52.7% either answered with an 8 or a 7, pulling his score higher compared to some of his lower scores (there was a 1, two 3s, three 4s, and four 5s). This is also in line with my hypothesis; it is also in line with the national approval rating of President Biden, which currently sits at 54.% among likely and registered voters according to 538.
Question 6: Do you feel like President Biden is making unity an important factor in his presidency?
Again, 84.2% (32) respondents all came to the same conclusion, albeit under a different question. 15.8% (6) respondents again disagreed, although they had two choices instead of several different ones. This, too, is ultimately in line with my hypothesis.
Question 7: Do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will end in Biden's first term?
Three were three options for this question-- yes, no, and maybe. I have classified the respondents into three groups with this question, the Realists, the Pessimists, and the Optimists, and cast them in comparison to previous crises at the start of presidencies.
The Pessimists are the smallest group, making up 13.2%, or 5 respondents. Based on the results of Questions 4 and 6, I suspect that they may be apart of the minorities from those questions, and also that they may potentially be members of the Right Wing minority.
At the start of every presidency, there is a large portion of the American population that tends to be extremely optimistic. This group tends to be the strongest group of supporters of the new president. Given the current crisis and the results of vaccination efforts, things have slowly been improving, resulting in a portion of the population remaining extremely optimistic. I suspect that this second largest group (34.2%, or 13 respondents) are members of the Leftist Coalition.
The Realists are the most realistic of the three groups. They have a bipartisan majority of 52.6%, or 20 respondents. Given how long former President Trump took to act against the virus and how slow vaccine distribution under the Biden administration has been, this group is not committed to saying yes nor no, but remains hopeful yet skeptical.
My hypothesis was mostly correct, but I had underestimated the power of a large number of respondents and how that would impact the political leanings of YWS. I was surprised by the margins of a left wing coalition given the rise in participation, and was also surprised that someone approved of the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.
I enjoyed writing this essay and doing this survey. I'll set up a new one in a few months, just in time to see what further effects the Biden administration has on the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, and the political beliefs of YWS and America alike.