Analyzing the International Academy 2020 General Election

By Tasawwar Rahman (Editor-in-Chief of the Overachiever) and Leah Raymond (Elections Correspondent)

Exit Polling

There is a clear Democratic majority at the IA with about 62.1% of voters identifying as such.  However, Independents make up a sizable minority at 23.7% of voters, and Republicans at just over 10%.  Those identifying as Libertarians and Greens are in the minority at about 3%.

The Freshmen had the greatest voter turnout at 37.6% of the votes cast, with Seniors closely following at 33.0%.  Sophomores and Juniors each made up about 15% of the electorate.

In terms of actual voter turnout, about half of the Freshman and Senior classes voted opposed to just under a quarter of Sophomores and Juniors that did the same. Some potential causes of these disparities may be inconsistent ballot access or time given to vote in class across teachers or varying levels of political engagement due to differing stages of life (ie seniors may be eligible to vote).

While women comprise a slight majority of the electorate at 48.6% compared to the 47.2% of men, men turned out in slightly greater numbers at 35.9% compared to women’s 32.2% turnout. This displays a reversal of well established national trends showing women consistently turning out at a slightly higher rate compared to men.

The vast majority of IA voters, 78.9%, indicated that they had watched at least one debate. However, this number likely does not hold true for the school as a whole as low voter turnout likely created a self selecting sample.

Further Analysis

The results of this ballot proposal are extremely interesting as they are highly indicative of a general lack of voter education. In total, 82.6% of Democrats, 81.0% of Independents, and 60% of Republicans voted in favor of the proposal which would allow continued oil and gas mining on public land. While the proposal is clearly in opposition to the beliefs most younger Democratic voters would likely hold, it is probably due to voters quickly reading through the carefully crafted language about conservation and overlooking the fossil fuel extraction purpose of the amendment. Bafflingly, Republicans actually were the demographic in least support of the amendment, presumably for similar but opposite reasons; that is that they saw the prominent language about conservation and may have voted against that.
The results of the Oakland County millage proposal yielded an expected outcome to what we’d expect ideologically from voters. Democrats overwhelmingly supported the millage with 90.8% in favor, independents were less sure at 72.5% in favor, and finally Republicans were split with only 57.9% voting in favor of the millage. Overall, the results of the millage correlated with the ideological preferences of voters, that is Democrats are in favor of increased taxation whereas Republicans are generally more opposed to it (though a majority of each group voted in favor of the millage with varying levels of support). The example also highlights the fact that IA’s independents are indeed independent. With regard to the millage they averaged support right in between that of Democrats and Republicans.

Overall, our results confirm that the political scientific phenomenon known as “The Gender Gap” is clearly exhibited in the IA population and can explain the underperformance of Republican candidates across the board in our electorate.

IA women lean strongly Democratic with nearly 75% identifying as such. The majority of those who do not identify as Democrat identify as Independent (about 15%), and very few identify as Republican (about 5%). IA men are more evenly split; slightly less than half identify as Democrats. Identifying as Republican is again less prevalent however among men, we still see about 20% identifying in this way.

Nearly all Democrats voted for their party’s candidates – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris – compared to just over 85% of Republicans voted for their party’s candidates – Donald Trump and Mike Pence.  This reflects national trends which show the vast majority of Democrats in support of Joe Biden, but Republicans are more hesitant to completely support President Trump. In terms of Independents, at the IA, just over 75% voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, which is further evidenced in national polling that show Joe Biden commanding a significant, albeit less obtuse, lead among independent voters.

Out of those who voted Gary Peters for Senate, the 97.1% also voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  However, only 67.4% of John James voters also chose to support President Trump

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