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City hall was not the only place where votes were cast in the major electoral races Nov. 8. Students in 12th grade and 8th grade in the Highland Community School District also cast votes in a mock election of their own.
Social studies teacher Seth Milledge ran mock elections in his government classes for the former group and American history classes for the latter.
Prior to casting their votes, Milledge had his student complete the Pew Typology Quiz and the ISideWith Quiz to help them figure where they stood on the issues. “I believe the online quizzes have been very eye-opening for our students,” said Milledge.
The Pew Typology Quiz helped students to understand where they stood on the political spectrum. They were given a quiz of just over 20 questions on a variety of issues and asked to pick from a pair of statements which one aligned more closely with their view.
The spectrum was labeled from “solid liberal” to “steadfast conservative.” The spectrum also had a series of five other more moderate designations, like “business conservatives” and the “faith and family left” to more accurately describe the more nuanced stances held by the majority of the electorate outside of the two extremes.
The ISideWith Quiz asked a series of yes or no questions on the issues, but students did have the option of taking a more specific stance than just a plain yes or no. For example, one question asked “Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?” Students could say yes or no, but they could also get more specific saying “No, only for assault weapons,” “Yes, but only by closing the gun show loophole,” write in their own, or pick from any of the other five more specific answers for that question.
The quiz went beyond the binary Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton choice, with students being rated against other candidates, like Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
When it came time to cast their votes, like the actual election night results, Trump carried the day in both classes.
For the 12th graders, Trump garnered 38.5 percent over Hillary’s 34.6. Gary Johnson, at 15.4 percent, and general write-ins, 11.5 percent, also claimed a chunk of votes. For the other three races voted on, the incumbents took the race, mirroring the overall results. Senator Chuck Grassley took 72 percent of the vote over Patty Judge, Representative Dave Loebsack triumph over Christopher Peters with just over 54 percent of the vote, and State Representative Jarad Klein took 69.2 percent of the vote against Libertarian Joshua Miller.
Republicans ran rampant in the history classes, winning all four races. In the race for the presidency, Trump took in 56.8 percent, compared to almost 41 percent for Hillary. Grassley was just shy of 89 percent in the senate race, Peters upset Loebsack with 64.7 percent of the vote, and Klein got over 81 percent of the vote for state representative.
Comparing that to the unofficial results of ballots cast across Washington County, while the 8th graders mirrored the results, the 12th graders mirrored the closer nature of the races.
Trump received 55.8 percent compared to 35.6 for Clinton. In the other races, Grassley, Peters, and Klein won with 65.9, 51.7, and 68.3 percent respectively.
For comparison, based on data from the Pew Research Center, Clinton had an 18-point edge in the youngest demographic nationally, voters aged 18-29. That margin was down six percent over 2012.