Preliminary research from political science Professor Lee Ann Banaszak and Penn State students who are polling protesters outside of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) show that money and corruption in politics are major reasons why people are taking to the streets in Philadelphia.
The researchers found that compared to the rallies and protests at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, events were much bigger and much more varied.
“We estimate approximately 5,000 to 10,000 people turned out across the city for an event on Monday. This constitutes 10 to 20 times the number of people outside the RNC,” Banaszak said.
The team surveyed a number of events spread between City Hall/Dilworth Park and the Wells Fargo Center, including Capitolo Park, Marconi Park and FDR Park. These events included:
- Occupy the DNC Convention
- The Migrant Rights March on the DNC
- Bernie Sander’s March
- Equality Coalition March on the DNC
- Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign
In their first day of surveying people, the researchers spoke to 223 individuals over the course of the day. Response rates were very high with 87 percent agreeing to complete the survey.
Very preliminary results showed that “people outside the convention were largely focused on issues of money and corruption in politics,” Banaszak said. “Racism and racial inequality — which was a large theme in Cleveland at the RNC — was less prevalent as a theme.”
Banaszak added that despite the media emphasis on a “Dump Trump” movement at Cleveland, the people participating in events outside the DNC were much more focused on changing the party’s nominee on this first day of the survey.
Banaszak said that the researchers’ survey method is different from past polling methods in that it helps take the personal bias out of the polling. Additionally, some preliminary data will continue to be available quickly because the researchers are submitting their findings through iPhones to a cloud-based database.