Obama sweeps mock elections at WB’s high, middle schools
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · November 09, 2012

As of this newspaper’s deadline, the nation still had not figured out the next leader of the free world.

However, West Branch Community School pupils gave their opinions.

At West Branch High School, some 71.7 percent of those who voted in a mock election decided President Obama deserves a second term.

WBHS government teacher Bill Brendlinger said 171 of 258 students voted — about 66.3 percent of the population. Of them, 121 voted for the Democrat in the Oval Office, while 39 voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“There is a liberal slant in West Branch with the University (of Iowa) and the Quaker influence,” Brendlinger said. “But I didn’t think it would be that big a margin.”

In the race for the U.S. House, Republican John Archer, with 27 percent of the vote, lost to incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack, who earned 67 percent. About 6 percent voted for other candidates.

In the state representative race, Democrats won again, with 56 percent going for Dick Schwab of Solon, and only 44 percent selecting Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton.

Brendlinger said he was impressed by the wide variance in the three races, showing very little straight-party voting. In the days leading up to the mock election, the teacher overheard students at lunch having political discussions on a wide range of topics, like jobs, the deficit, abortion, women’s rights and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

“Kids were trying to think things out,” he said. “And it wasn’t nasty — there was no yelling or screaming. I was very impressed.”


West Branch Middle School also hosted a mock election, with Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney 148-58, according to teacher Erin Brown. Grade breakdown:

5th - Obama 35, Romney 19

6th - Obama 44, Romney 17

7th - Obama 39, Romney 16

8th - Obama 30, Romney 6

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