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Poll: Masheke holds healthy lead as race for Young Alumni Trustee enters final stretch

Annie Rupertus / The Daily Princetonian

Nine days before voting begins, Mutemwa Masheke ’23 leads his competitors Mayu Takeuchi ’23 and Caroline Kirby ’23 in the race for Young Alumni Trustee according to a Daily Princetonian poll. The poll was open from April 16 to April 21 with a response rate of 11.6 percent.  Over the past three years, turnout for the election have been 19 percent, 18 percent and 23.67 percent.

50.9 percent of poll respondents indicated support for Masheke, an 18-point lead over the second-place candidate, Takeuchi, who had 32.7 percent support. Kirby came in third place with 16.4 percent support.


Kirby had the highest level of name recognition in our poll, with over 84 percent of respondents saying they had heard of her. 73.6 percent had heard of Takeuchi, and 63.6 had heard of Masheke. Similarly, 12.7 percent of respondents characterized themselves as “Friends” or “Close Friends” with Kirby, higher than Masheke at 11.8 percent and Takeuchi at 7.3 percent. While more respondents had heard of Takeuchi than Masheke, more respondents marked Masheke as a friend or close friend.

Masheke’s advantage comes from large leads among Princeton students. Masheke led the poll in the Classes of 2024 and 2023, the two classes currently enrolled. Takeuchi received the most support among the Class of 2022. Voters from the Class of 2021 were tied between Masheke and Takeuchi. Takeuchi served as Undergraduate Student Government president while members of the Class of 2022 were in their senior Spring, possibly explaining her higher support among this group. Kirby’s strongest class was the Class of 2022, where she obtained 25 percent support.


Takeuchi’s advantage among recently graduated alums only takes her so far, however, given that 75.4 percent of respondents are currently enrolled students. There was also a significant gender gap among respondents, with nearly twice the number of female respondents than male respondents. 

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Masheke won both male- and female-identifying voters in our poll but by different margins. While Masheke held a 17-point lead over Takeuchi among female voters, he won male voters by less than six points over Takeuchi. Kirby performed more strongly among female voters, winning 18.8 percent of females versus 14.3 percent of males.

The ‘Prince’ also asked poll respondents whether they were part of an eating club, co-op, or were an independent or on the University dining plan. Masheke led in five out of the 11 eating clubs — Cap and Gown, Charter, Ivy, Tiger Inn, and Tower — while Kirby led in two: Cannon Dial Elm and Cottage. The only eating club Takeuchi carried was Colonial Club. Three eating clubs were evenly split: Cloister Inn voters were tied between Kirby and Takeuchi, Quadrangle respondents between Takeuchi and Masheke, and Terrace voters between Kirby and Masheke.

Two co-ops, 2 Dickinson and Brown, saw tied levels of support between Masheke and Takeuchi, while Masheke won the International Food Co-op. Masheke also won a slight majority of students on the dining hall meal plan and over 70 percent of independent students. Of the 41 students in our poll who were not part of an eating club, just one indicated support for Kirby.

Varsity student athletes are approximately 18 percent of the Princeton student body, representing a key constituency in a University-wide election. 15.4 percent of respondents were varsity athletes. Kirby performed strongly among this group, winning 47 percent. Masheke won about 41 percent of the athletes in our poll, while Takeuchi won less than 12 percent. Kirby’s support among athletes may explain her support in Cannon and Cottage, two clubs that are known for their large presence of varsity athletes.

Another key group on campus is international students, about 12 percent of the student body, roughly matched by 13.6 percent of respondents. Masheke dominated among this group, winning 80 percent of international students in the poll. Takeuchi won 13 percent of international students, while Kirby obtained less than seven percent support among this group. Masheke is the only international student in the runoff election and has highlighted his advocacy for international students in his profile.

Finally, the ‘Prince’ asked potential voters how committed they are toward their preferred candidates. Masheke had the most solid support, with 87.5 percent of his voters saying they are not at all likely or unlikely to change their vote. This statistic was 72.2 percent for Kirby and 61.1 percent for Takeuchi. Overall, voters were very certain in their preferences, with less than five percent saying their vote was likely or very likely to change before voting.

The Classes of 2021 through 2024 are eligible to vote in the runoff election, which will take place from April 25 to May 17. The winner will be announced at the Alumni Council Meeting on Friday, May 26.


The ‘Prince’ conducted its Young Alumni Trustee poll by selecting a cluster sample of members of the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024. The clusters were based on the top five most common last initials of Princeton students. The alphabetical first half of students with these last initials were selected. In total, the poll was emailed to 948 students and alumni, resulting in a response rate of 11.6 percent.

The sample used is not a perfect representation of the eligible voting population for this election as the Classes of 2023 and 2024 and women are overrepresented. However, the ‘Prince’ decided not to weigh this poll, believing this composition is indicative of the levels of turnout among groups in the runoff election.

Ryan Konarska is an assistant Data editor for the ‘Prince.’

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