JWU College of Arts & Sciences

Cultural Life Series Kicks Off with Pollster John Zogby


“Let's start where all good things start—with a Zogby poll,” John Zogby joked as he took the stage in Schneider Auditorium on JWU Providence's campus on September 28. 

Zogby was the first Cultural Life Series speaker of the academic year. The founder and senior analyst of the Zogby Poll and author of “The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream,” he came to campus to share his insights on the upcoming Presidential election.

After quickly polling the audience to determine how many were following the election, and to what degree, Zogby asked another question—why is this election so close?

“Looking at every traditional metric and measurement, there's no reason [Hillary Clinton] shouldn't be winning,” he said. But while she may have history and demographics on her side, Zogby argues Donald Trump has gained popularity because he “is running against a system that middle class Americans feel is stacked against them.” Meanwhile, Clinton “embodies a political system that favors one group over another” and is struggling to establish authenticity.  Ultimately, Zogby said, while Clinton may have won the first debate, she didn't win any polling points. 

You give me hope, so don't screw this up"

Switching gears away from the presidential election, Zogby turned to the subject of millennials.

“You're the first 'Globals',” Zogby said. “And you give me hope, so don't screw this up.”

According to Zogby, “Globals” want to travel, to change the world, and to work for entities that will allow them to do so. And while they may not be the traditional “9-to-5” work force that many employers are used to, Zogby argues that they are something better—"24/7-ers”. “You guys are always on,” he said. 

Millennials don't have careers, he continued, but rather they have “gigs“—jobs they hold for shorter spans of time before “reinventing” or ”repackaging” themselves. “You're a very entrepreneurial group,” Zogby said. “Not in the sense that you'll all open businesses, but in the sense that you have the mentality that 'my product is me.'”

Before fielding questions from the audience, he left the students in the audience with one final thought: “You control this election—wow, that's a lot of power.”

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Topics: Providence Cultural Life Series