In a surprise upset, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has won the school’s mock election, 36.4 percent to President Trump’s 36.2 percent.
The election was conducted entirely over a Google form in which students could vote for any candidate they like after selecting their advisory teacher.
In total, Biden received 36.4 percent of the vote, Trump received 36.2 percent, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgenson received 22.9 percent, and Green party nominee Howie Hawkins received 4.4 percent. Over 500 votes were cast throughout the school.
The result comes to the shock of many given that President Trump carried Washington County by over 71 percent in the 2016 election.
Even comparing the 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s raw numbers to Biden’s, he still outperformed her by over 10 percent. She received approximately 23 percent of the vote in Oklahoma that year while Biden took 36 percent of the vote in this year’s mock election.
One possible explanation for this is Biden’s seeming outpermance of Clinton nationally four years ago. Four days away from the election, Clinton led Trump by 2.3 percent in national polling. Biden currently leads Trump by 7.2 percent in national polling. These results could be trickling down into traditionally red parts of the country such as Washington County.
Of course, Jo Jorgenson’s total share of the vote cannot be ignored. There is a seemingly high amount of energy surrounding her campaign among young voters who may feel apathetic towards both major candidates.
It is worth noting that, though there have been concerns of a compromised election raised by a few teachers and students, the minor issues experienced have been resolved. For a brief period of time, the ballot was open to more than one submission. As a result, during the few hours that this was the case, duplicate ballots flooded in, though almost entirely for Jorgenson. Irregularities have been spotted and taken care of accordingly. These extra votes that Jorgenson received do not count towards her overall vote total.
With the exception of Jorgenson, no candidates received an obviously inflated amount of votes.
A close inspection of the results reveals that the overall vote toggled between Trump and Biden for nearly the entire week before the ballot closed.
While watching results pour in throughout all advisory classes, Trump would take the lead, only for another vote to come in from another class and tie it again. Biden saw a similar phenomenon.
Over most of fall break when the ballot first became available, Biden held a fairly wide lead. After the first three days, the total count was roughly 2:1 in favor of Biden. As the days went by, support for the president came out in droves at an even higher rate, around 3:1. Trump held a decent lead throughout the following week, though in the final few days there was an uptick in voters coming out for Biden, delivering him his very narrow margin of victory.
Young voters tend to lean more Democratic than their older counterparts, indicating that Trump is the favorite to win the entire county in the real election on Nov. 3, despite Biden’s narrow victory in the mock election.
In this extremely tight election between the candidates, students managed to turnout and vote at a higher percentage than expected and exercised their right to voice their opinion.