Students reflect on city’s greater Republican prominence in blue territory

November 16, 2017 — by Krithi Sankar and Rahul Vadlakonda

According to the County of Santa Clara, 73.37 percent of the 695,619 of its residents who participated in the 2016 presidential election voted for Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. Though the results showed an overwhelmingly Democratic stance in the county overall, Saratoga stands out: The city has the lowest percentage of Democrats in the county at 37 percent, according to the California Secretary of State.

Though students at Saratoga High seem to contradict this statistic — liberal views are fairly prevalent among students —  junior Maxwell Lisovsky is part of the right-leaning community on campus.

Lisovsky said the reason there is such a difference in political ideology in Saratoga is that its well-off citizens favor many of the Republican Party’s stances on taxes and other fiscal matters.

Even so, being an open conservative at the school hasn’t always been easy.

“From what I can tell I’ve gotten more [negative comments] for supporting our president than anyone who supports Hillary,” Lisovsky said.

Senior Jack Ryan, who identifies as a centrist Democrat, said that Saratoga’s older population also contributes to its  Republican support, since older people are generally more conservative than younger people. In general, Ryan believes that the older citizens would like to go “back to the good old days.”

According to the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of the Silent Generation, who are aged 71 to 88 years old, and 49 percent of the Baby Boomer Generation, who are 52 to 70 years old, are Republican or right-leaning.

Sophomore Satvik Kaliyur, a Democrat, said the reason for this political difference results from a combination of Saratoga’s elderly residents, white residents and wealthy residents being groups that stereotypically vote more conservative than liberal.

Kaliyur said that this difference can have a positive effect on the left-leaning community since they have more to contribute through their political opposition.

“[This political status] may motivate other lefties in Saratoga High to be more active politically to help increase the pace of transition,” he said. “[Students are doing this by] working on behalf of politicians they believe represent them and waging political debates at school.”

 

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