ETHS Mock Election results


Zachary Bahar and Sari Oppenheimer

As The Evanstonian began to think about how to cover a historic election, an idea emerged: conduct a mock election. While the idea is far from an original one, it ultimately offered some insight into the collective mind of Evanston students.
Over the span of the week leading up to Election Day (Oct. 25 to Nov. 2), 440 students responded to our survey—11.8 percent of the total ETHS population—split between 54 freshmen (12.5 percent), 124 sophomores (28.4 percent), 120 juniors (27.5 percent) and 139 seniors (31.8 percent).
Unsurprisingly, given Evanston’s liberal tendencies, the Biden/Harris ticket won our election in a landslide, garnering 388 votes (88.8 percent). Trump came in a distant second with 18 votes (4.1 percent) and an additional 7.1 percent of voters wrote in a third party candidate.
While the results of the presidential election were uninteresting, the data that followed was rather indicative of the mood of ETHS students around the election and the state of the political system in general. The weighted average of enthusiasm for Biden amongst people who voted for him was 3.49 out of 5 or 69.8 percent. This value makes sense given the written responses we received.
“He’s very centrist, and while I know that’s what’s needed to beat Trump, it’s not what’s needed to properly fight systemic racism and climate change. Under the Obama administration, [Biden] helped drive a lot of incredibly awful actions in the Middle East, he helped lead the crime bill in the 90s and his climate plan isn’t enough for the 10 years we have left to save this planet. But, he’s easier to hold accountable and to control, while Trump is not,” a junior said in a written response.
Many claimed that Biden was a centrist candidate and that he doesn’t accurately reflect their personal beliefs. This is seen in the political orientation data collected, which indicates that 69.8 percent of ETHS students identify as center-left, left or far left. Given this, it’s easy to see why many students wouldn’t be the most enthusiastic for a Biden presidency that may not make progress on the issues they care about.
In fact, 64.2 percent of Biden supporters claimed that their chief reason for supporting Biden was to remove Trump from office, with around 13.9 percent claiming that they were actively settling for Biden. Furthermore, 42.5 percent of respondents said they were concerned about Biden following through on his promises or not doing enough to advance the agendas that they believed in—the most frequently-cited action items were supporting the Black Lives Matter (27.8 percent) and defund the police movements (12.1 percent), cracking down on white supremacy (18.6 percent of responses), instituting a climate change plan (16.0 percent) and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (15.7 percent).
While The Evanstonian suspected that many of these results would be the case, this mock election allowed us to take a closer look at the student body and the beliefs it holds. Full survey results can be found here.