Harvard Westlake Politics : Gearing up for 2020

With the upcoming presidential election off to a dramatic start, many students are tuning in.

“It’s going to be very interesting seeing the race play out and finding out who the candidates are. I think democrats are focusing on who they think could beat Trump a little too much, as most all of the democratic nominees are polling above him by wide margins. They should focus on real policy more, as they’re going to have to live with the nominee for four or eight years,” said Jack Moreland ‘23.

In agreement with Moreland, James Hess ‘23 said, “This election is interesting not only because of the current president and his various scandals, but also because of the blatant divide in the democratic party.”

About 80% of Los Angeles citizens identify as democrats, so it is not surprising that about 57% of Harvard-Westlake (HW) Middle School students surveyed identify as democrats. Although HW democrats vary in their support for a democratic candidate, one thing is certain: they are eager to get President Trump out of office.

“After the chaos and horrors of the Trump administration, the United States needs bold progressive leadership to address the rampant class inequality that garnered support for Trump in the first place. We must move on from the failures of the Trump Administration to create a better, more prosperous America for all,” an anonymous student wrote in the survey.

Students surveyed also seem to agree that although they are hopeful for a democratic president it seems that there will be another four years of a Trump presidency. About 38% of students believe Trump will be re-elected, while only about 20% actually support him. “Trump will win reelection in 2020 for two reasons: first, a very obvious partisan impeachment vote in the House followed by an acquittal and fair trial in the Senate, will seriously damage the democratic party’s reputation while creating a civil war between its leftwing factions. Second, the voters are and will always be reluctant to replace a president in a time of peace and our country being prosperous, regardless of some of his flaws,” says an anonymous student.

When surveyed, Kamala Harris, who had yet to drop out, was the most favored candidate amongst students, polling at about 44%. The survey was sent just two weeks before Harris dropped out of the race, so it is clear that many HW students supported her even in the midst of the downward spiral of her campaign.

While about 20% of HW students support Trump, only about 13% identify as Republican. Whether it’s some of the 17% of students who are independent or the 12% who simply do not know what party they identify as who support Trump, it is relatively shocking that students with moderate views would support such as far right wing republican.

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