AP Gov students lean democrat in mock election, giving President elect Joe Biden landslide victory

December 10, 2020 — by Oliver Ye
Photo by Carolyn Wang
Seniors align with state on President, congress, diverge in favor of progressive state policies.

If seniors are indication, California will remain firmly blue for years to come, as the vast majority of students favored Democrat Joe Biden over Republican incumbent Donald Trump in a mock election hosted by AP U.S. Government teachers Mike Davey and Kirk Abe. 

In addition, seniors voted to pass multiple progressive Californian Propositions in the mock election. Abe and Davey held the poll a week before the 2020 presidential election as a way to gauge where the students stand on various political issues.

The seniors in the five AP Government classes gave Biden 170 votes, or 85 percent. Incumbent Donald Trump received 20 student votes, 10 percent; Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received six votes and libertarian Jo Jorgensen received four votes. 

In comparison, Biden won 64 percent in Santa Clara County compared to Trump’s 34 percent. Nationally, Biden received 51 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 47 percent. Biden easily surpassed the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to become the next president with 306.

In other mock election results, longtime incumbent Anna Eshoo beat fellow Democrat Rishi Kumar for California’s 18th congressional district representative position with a 98-92 vote; Ann Ravel was elected over David Cortese for state senate with a 105-79 vote. In comparison, actual Santa Clara County voters re-elected Eshoo with 63.2 percent and Cortese won the state senate seat with 54 percent.

With the wide-ranging ballot measures, seniors voted in favor of the failed Propositions 15, which would have increased funding for K-12 schools through increasing property taxes on businesses. They also favored the failed Proposition 16, which would restore affirmative action in state and local governments.

By contrast, the seniors’ votes aligned with the passed Proposition 17,  which would have ended the cash bail system and allowed citizens on parole to vote.

The results of the mock election differed widely from the actual national and state-level results, leaning much more heavily in favor of Democrats and more progressive policies. To many students, however, the results were not surprising. 

“Since SHS has a solidly liberal student body, I expected most of the left-leaning candidates and propositions to win,” explained senior Nikhil Nair, who is the president of the Democracy Matters club. “Given the affluence of our community, an outsider might expect the general opinion to be more conservative, but Saratoga falls in line with the overwhelmingly Democratic Silicon Valley.”


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