Harvard undergraduates favor Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis over Republican Vice President George Bush by a nearly three-to-one margin, a straw poll conducted by the Institute of Politics revealed this week.
Women, Blacks and upperclassmen lean most heavily toward the Massachusetts governor--who won 70 percent of the overall vote compared to Bush's 26 percent--according to the Tuesday survey of more than 2500 students. The survey sampled approximately two-fifths of the College.
Student political leaders and outside experts said they were not overly surprised, given the College's liberal slant and location in Dukakis' home state.
"[Dukakis' victory] doesn't surprise me," said Linda D. Rottenberg '90, co-chair of Harvard Students for Dukakis-Bentsen. "I think that particularly on social issues, people here tend to be pretty liberal."
"Those who have voted for Dukakis have voted for a self-proclaimed liberal," said David R. Ackley '91, co-chair of Harvard Students for Bush-Quayle. "They have put forth Harvard as a bastion of liberalism."
Still, the IOP survey revealed huge gender and minority gaps between the two candidates. Among women, 78 percent chose Dukakis, compared to 18 percent for Bush. The margin between the two candidates was much closer for men, with the governor leading 65 percent to 31 percent.
Dukakis also won 84 percent of the Black vote, to the vice president's 9 percent.
Bush enjoyed his greatest success among voters who had spent the least time at Harvard. Among freshmen, he lost to Dukakis 65 percent to 31 percent. The sophomore, junior and senior classes' support for Dukakis ranged from 70 to 73 percent while backing for Bush ranged from 23 to 25 percent.
Dukakis won 12 out of the 13 undergraduate houses, with his largest margin in Adams House, 89 percent to 8 percent. Bush's lone victory took place at Eliot House, where hecarried the house 50 to 45 percent.
Of students polled, 82 percent are registeredvoters. Eighty percent said that they plan to votein the national election on November 8. Studentsvoted in house dining halls and at the Unionduring lunch and dinner.
The Harvard poll contradicts a national trendof growing conservatism among young people. A NewYork Times article earlier this week cited a pollthat tracked voters aged 18 to 29 since 1980, andfound an increased number preferred the RepublicanParty