A new survey released Monday found that graduates beholden with student debt support Bernie Sanders for president, and perceive student debt as a bigger threat to the U.S. than ISIS.
The survey, conducted by LendEDU, had participants who all graduated from college with student loans, and held, on average, $31,762 of student debt at the time of the survey. Of those surveyed, 39.77 percent want Sanders to win the presidency, 23.39 percent support Clinton, 10.52 percent support Trump, followed by Rubio, Bush, Cruz, Christie and Carson. 14.3 percent of respondents said they are undecided about which candidate they support.
When asked which candidate is best prepared to deal with the $1.2 trillion of student debt in the U.S., Sanders ranked first, followed by Clinton, Bush, Rubio, Christie, Cruz, Carson, and lastly Trump.
It is unsurprising that the two Democratic candidates ranked significantly higher than the republicans, as both Sanders and Clinton have repeatedly discussed prospects of free college and federal student loan refinancing.
The survey then asked respondents a question unrelated to the presidential race, “What is a bigger threat facing the United States: ISIS or student loan debt?”
57.31 percent of the respondents said that student loan debt is a bigger threat, compared to the 42.69 percent who said ISIS is a bigger threat to the United States.
Based on these survey results, in order to convert the 14.3 percent of undecided respondents, candidates should be focusing their campaigns on remedying student debt, rather than focusing on the threat ISIS poses to the U.S.
LendEDU approximates that 43 million people in America have student debt. Winning over these people could prove essential to candidates in this unpredictable presidential race.
Over five hundred people partook in the online survey, all of whom graduated from a four-year university and had taken out student loans. The respondents were between 22 and 61 years old, and 61 percent were female while 39 percent were male.