If the decision on who should serve as U.S. president were in the hands of Attleboro High School students, Barack Obama would have been elected to a second term in a landslide. The Democratic incumbent defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney 855-281, according to the mock election results released Thursday.
There was also some third-party support from the AHS student body, with 129 votes going to Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein and 55 votes going to Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Obama was also the most popular candidate in Attleboro among voters in the real election, but not by as wide a margin. He earned 10,369 votes to Romney's 8,406. Johnson received 260 and 93 went to Stein.
Students received a second ballot that included series of questions about national political issues. In response to a question asking what the most important issue is in the country, the vast majority (729) chose the economy. Receiving the second-most votes was the national debt (210), followed by education (87), health care (79), environment (67) and energy (34).
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For each issue, students were provided with two to four statements and asked to choose the one with which they most agreed.
Regarding the economy, the most popular statement was "We should reform the nation's tax code by closing loopholes for millionaires and billionaires. This involves cutting corporate tax rates and using the tax code to reward companies that pursue innovation and invest in America."
The most popular statement about education was "Our most important educational priorities should be to expand financial aid for college students and double the number of federally funded work-study jobs over the next five years."
The most popular statement regarding energy was also the most popular statement overall. More than 780 students chose, "We should invest in clean, renewable sources of energy, especially solar and wind-power."
Regarding health care, 455 students agreed with the statement, "Universal health care coverage means more affordable premiums and lower costs because people will focus more on preventive care and avoid expensive emergency care. Americans have the right to health insurance and protections from abusive practices by insurance companies."
In contrast, only 142 students agreed with the statement, "Universal health care amounts to government control of individuals' rights, government interference in the economy, and huge costs. The individual states should set their own policies regarding the uninsured, those with chronic conditions, and with regard to Medicaid."
Nearly 700 students agreed with the statement "We should cap federal government spending at below 20 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. The other 474 voters preferred the statement, "Spending cuts will only go so far and raising taxes and/or changing the rules on how taxes are paid are also necessary steps to reduce the deficit."
Voting took place Oct. 30 at the school's library. The mock election was organized by school librarian Lisa Ryder and social studies coordinator Tobey Reed in conjunction with the national program The My Voice National Student Mock Election. The full results can be found in the PDF attached to this article.