Nicki Gray (NHS ’20) leads by a 6.6 point margin for Georgetown University Student Association president, according to a door-to-door poll of 615 students conducted by The Hoya on Wednesday evening. The election is set for Friday, Feb. 8.

Gray was the first preference of 34.7 percent of the 357 self-identified likely voters. Norman Francis Jr. (COL ’20) and Aleida Olvera (COL ’20) were close behind at 28.1 percent. Sina Nemazi (COL ’21) and Roya Wolfe (SFS ’21) came in third with 20 percent of the vote, while Ryan Zuccala (MSB ’20) and John Dolan (MSB ’20) came in fourth with 9.7 percent. Respondents who were undecided or wrote in candidates made up 7.5 percent of the total.

The poll’s narrow margin suggests no candidate will receive a majority of votes in the first round of voting. If no ticket receives an outright majority in the first round, an instant runoff is conducted between the top performing tickets, per GUSA’s single transferable vote system. In this ranked choice system, the ticket with the lowest vote total is eliminated, and their votes are redistributed to the remaining candidates based on voters’ indicated second preferences until one ticket receives a majority.

2 percent of respondents rated their current trust in GUSA as strong. 23.9 percent of students listed their trust in GUSA as medium, and 38.9 percent of respondents listed their trust in GUSA as weak.  35 percent said they were indifferent/unsure.

GUSA is somewhat relevant, according to 54 percent of respondents. 40.3 percent said GUSA is not at all relevant, and 5.7 responded it was very relevant.

A plurality of respondents, 22.1 percent, identified sexual assault policy as the most relevant issue in this election, while 18.2 percent classified affordability as the most important. Diversity and inclusivity were the most relevant issues to 14.3 percent of respondents.

Three of the four tickets have specific policies addressing sexual assault in their campaign platforms. Zuccala and Dolan’s platform does not reference any sexual assault policy or Title IX changes.

Among the students who ranked sexual assault policy as the most relevant issue in this campaign season, 33.1 percent indicated they would rank Gray first, and 25.7 percent expressed primary preference for Francis. 13.2 percent selected Nemazi as their first choice and 5.2 percent said they would rank Zuccala first.

The survey also asked about student opinions on the upcoming GU272 referendum. Slated for April on the same ballot as GUSA senate elections, the vote will give students the option to support or reject the creation of a semesterly reconciliation fee that would go toward a fund to benefit descendants of the 272 enslaved individuals sold by the Maryland Society of Jesus in 1838 to financially sustain Georgetown.

34.8 percent of respondents said that they approved of the fee, 34.7 percent said they were indifferent or unsure, 16.3 percent said they do not support the fee and 13.4 percent said they did not plan to vote.

Among female-identifying respondents, Gray’s margin over Francis remained almost the same, though her support increased overall to 37.4 percent, while Francis’ went up to 31 percent. Nemazi dropped marginally to 19.3 percent, while Zuccala’s support decreased to 5.9 percent.

Of all respondents, 17.4 percent correctly identified Juan Martinez (SFS ’20) as the current GUSA president.

Of self-identified likely voters who accurately identified Martinez as current GUSA president, 51.4 percent said they were indifferent or unsure of the performance of the current GUSA administration. 42.1 percent said they approved of the current administration, while 6.5 percent said they disapprove of the current administration.

Students can vote in Friday’s executive election online using HoyaLink or at polling stations set up by the GUSA Election Commission in either the Leavey Center or Red Square.

Methodology:

The Hoya conducted a campuswide, door-to-door poll of Georgetown students Wednesday night in advance of the Georgetown University Student Association executive election Feb. 8.

Though the polling method is not infallible, it was designed to reduce sample bias and provide transparency for demographics.

More than 30 Hoya staff members administered the anonymous survey Wednesday evening in campus dormitories, apartment buildings and townhouses. Polling began at 7 p.m. and was completed by 9 p.m. The schedule and locations for polling were not announced beforehand.

A total of 615 Georgetown students completed the survey, which asked students about their views on the current election, including their vote choice, GUSA’s relevance, and the performance of the current GUSA executives; a series of demographic questions; a question gauging opinions on the upcoming GU272 referendum; a question asking respondents to identify the current GUSA president; and a question to gauge the main issues students want their next GUSA executives to address. Respondents were also asked whether they planned to vote in Friday’s election, narrowing the results of some poll questions to a set of 357 likely voters.

These measures limited readership bias, prevented respondents from being polled twice and sought to present a sample representative of the student body. However, as was the case in previous years, respondents to the poll were mostly underclassmen, likely because of the relative inaccessibility of junior and senior housing.

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