Mills Anoints its Presidential Pick, Feels the Bern

Despite clear front runner, Mills split nearly evenly in support for parties

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Mills Anoints its Presidential Pick, Feels the Bern

Bernie Sanders spoke to several thousand spectators on the New Haven Green Sunday in advance of Connecticut's Tuesday primary.

Bernie Sanders spoke to several thousand spectators on the New Haven Green Sunday in advance of Connecticut's Tuesday primary.

Bernie Sanders campaign photo

Bernie Sanders spoke to several thousand spectators on the New Haven Green Sunday in advance of Connecticut's Tuesday primary.

Bernie Sanders campaign photo

Bernie Sanders campaign photo

Bernie Sanders spoke to several thousand spectators on the New Haven Green Sunday in advance of Connecticut's Tuesday primary.

Jake Ferrari, Staff writer

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Close your eyes and imagine a country where 14-to-18 year-olds from two small, wealthy, and arguably culturally-deprived towns decided who would be the next president.  Terrifying, isn’t it?  Although this will never be a reality, The Spartan Scroll decided to conduct a poll anyway to see who the students of Lewis S. Mills High School want to run the country for the next four years.

Students were randomly given a two-part survey to fill out during lunch.  The first section listed the candidates and their party, and asked respondents to place a check next to the one they wanted to be president. Additionally, a number of issues — ranging from the Second Amendment to LGBTQ+ rights — were listed, and students were told to check off the three that were most important to them.

In all, 313 votes were cast.  Democrat Bernie Sanders, who bills himself as most progressive, received the most votes with 144, making up 46.8 percent of the total count.  In second was Republican front runner Donald Trump, receiving 24 percent of the vote.  Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich were just three votes apart, with the former gaining 12.5 percent of student votes and the latter with 11.5 percent.  In last came the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, receiving 5.8 percent of the 313 votes.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received one write in vote, giving him a mere 0.3 percent.  

Although Sanders ran away with the student vote over the other four candidates, the race between the parties was much closer.  Democratic candidates edged out Republican candidates 51.8 percent to 48.0 percent.  With a margin of error of 5.5 percent, this means Lewis Mills is split right down the middle of the political spectrum, with a possible slight lean to the left.

The biggest surprise of the results might be the remarkably low number of votes Clinton received.  Clinton, considered by many as the top contender for the White House,  came in dead last, receiving only 18 votes.  However, this has been consistent among the younger demographic, who have poured support into Sanders’ campaign, and have a general averse view towards the former Secretary of State.  

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Republican Ted Cruz campaigns for the presidency. Photo from Ted Cruz campaign

The issues Mills students think are important align greatly with current events and their demographic.  The top issue, gaining 16.48 percent of the nearly 900 selections students indicated, was terrorism.  Terrorism was a top-three issue for all five candidates, and the number one issue for Trump, Cruz, and Kasich supporters.  

 

trump

Leading Republican candidate Donald Trump campaigns recently in North Carolina. Trump for President campaign photo

Unsurprisingly, Sanders supporters identified college costs as the most important issue.  Sanders has repeatedly told voters he plans on making public college free by hammering Wall Street with previously ignored or avoided taxes.  College cost was also a top-three issue for Clinton and Cruz.  

Other issues Mills students said were important to them included taxes, the environment, and gun rights. Kasich voters were the only group really interested in health care.  Second Amendment rights accounted for a large portion of both Trump and Cruz voters’ most important issues.

Although the election will most likely not turn out this way, it is interesting to see what students at Lewis Mills think about politics.  Having an even mix of Republicans and Democrats allows all students to voice their opinions without being oppressed by one side.  Mills students seem to recognize the importance of politics in society.  Often, young people brush political talk aside as unimportant, or something only adults should talk about.  But just handing out the surveys sparked debate and discussion over the candidates, and politics in general.  If young people around the country care about politics as much as Mills students, political interest may be pumped back into this country in the future.

 

A campaign push urges voters in states like Connecticut to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

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