Héctor Cordero-Guzmán has conducted a second round of his #OWS survey on occupywallst.org, following up on his Oct. 5 study, which I discussed in an earlier post. Cordero-Guzmán fielded the second survey on the #OWS website Oct. 20-21, right after the movement’s one-month anniversary. How has the #OWS support base changed since the beginning of October? Let’s go to the numbers.
From round one to round two, #OWS supporters are older (see graph below). In round two, 32 percent of survey respondents are 45 or older, up from 12.6 percent in round one. While almost half of supporters (49.5%) are still in the 18-34 age group, Mike Konczal argues that the movement should not be dismissed because of its young support base. He points out a large proportion of young people are involved in the #OWS movement because they have the most to lose in the current economy.
There are also more female respondents in round two (37.5%) than there were in round one, though it’s puzzling that there is still a disproportionate share of male survey respondents. If Zuccotti Park is any gauge for female participation in the movement, #OWS is not male-dominated. Sarah Seltzer writes that many women have been involved in #OWS from the beginning, embracing the movement’s horizontal structure, which goes out of its way to not silence the marginalized. Unfortunately, there have been cases of sexual assault. However, the women living in Zuccotti Park plan to stay long term, and have created safe spaces to help ensure their safety.
The political affiliations of respondents didn’t change in round two, at all. The high percentage of independent supporters (70%) isn’t a “fluke,” but rather a signal of the movement’s disapproval of the current political process.
The round two data are more representative of the 99 percent than the round one data were. But, overall #OWS supporters remain mostly white, male, younger, more educated, and making less than the average American. What these two rounds of data tell us is that as the movement grows, the support base is also growing with different groups of individuals joining in #OWS. Participation in #OWS protests doubled between round one and two, highlighting an active and evolving support base.
For more survey results, check out this infographic of the data from Fast Company.
------FYI: #OWS is on the road! On Wednesday, some of the #OWS protestors left Zuccotti Park for a two-week march down to DC, planning to arrive by Nov. 23, in time to make the Congressional Super-Committee’s meeting. To join the march or follow their progress, check for updates on their blog.