Politics at WJ: which way does the student body lean?

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A total of 161 WJ students responded to a poll asking which political party matches their views best. Students confirmed the stereotype that WJ is very liberal.

Poll credit to Ian Rees

A total of 161 WJ students responded to a poll asking which political party matches their views best. Students confirmed the stereotype that WJ is very liberal.

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Montgomery County is known to lean heavily to the left, proven in the 2016 presidential election when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received 75.9% of the county’s vote. As well, Democrats currently hold all congressional seats in the county. Though it’s clear MoCo adults live up to the liberal stereotype, do WJ students?

In a poll sent to every English and social studies teacher at WJ (poll live from January 9-16) 161 students answered which party best matched their political views, and what current issues they find most important. Of responders, 42.2% identified with the Democrat party, along with 14.3% of responders stating they lean left. This compares to 13% of responders stating they identify with the Republican party, along with 5% stating they lean right. Not all students leaned one way or the other, with 19.3% of responders stating that they weren’t sure, 3.7% of responders stating their views didn’t belong to any of the options, and 2.5% of responders specified that they belong to a third party. In a Gallup poll conducted from December 3-12, 26% of responders affiliated with the Republican, 39% responded as independent, and 32% of responders affiliated with the Democrats. According to these polls, WJ is significantly more left-winged than the rest of the country.

WJ students found gun policy, climate change and healthcare to be the most important issues to them. Of the responder, 60.9% stated gun policy as an important issue to them, along with 58.4% for climate change and 50.9% for healthcare. Other top issues included immigration, the economy, and foreign affairs. A poll conducted by Gallup from October of 2018, showed that healthcare, the economy and immigration were the most important issues to Americans, along with the foreign affairs, gun policy and taxes. In general, WJ is not far off from the rest of the nation when it comes to which issues are most important to them. Tax reform is most notably an issue where adults differ from the WJ student body in terms of its importance.

The ‘WJ is liberal’ stereotype was also confirmed on an approval poll of President Trump. A total of 356 students responded between December 13 and 19 on the question of whether they approved, disapproved or had no opinion on President Trump and his policies. It must be noted that the poll doesn’t account for the government shutdown that began on December 21 as well as the resignation of Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Of the 356 responders, 62.8% reported that they did not approve of Trump, 17.2% had no opinion while a mere 20% reported they do approve of the president. In Gallup’s December 10 through 16 poll on the approval rating of the president, 38% of responders approved of the President while 57% disapproved. WJ’s approval rating of President Trump is a full 18 points lower than the nation’s.

In general, the results of these polls likely don’t come as a surprise to anyone in the community. The question that arises from these results is whether the heavy liberal bias affects the education students  receive at WJ. Read my take.

 

Poll credit to Ian Rees
Students also responded to which current issues are most important to them. Gun policy and climate change were the most important issues to students.

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