Partly to further purpose of cultural education and internationalization, and partly as an outlet for my electoral frustrations, I had the 3rd graders at Saroma Junior High vote for the US President yesterday. The 14-15 year old rural northern Japan demographic could turn this election. First, I handed them an information sheet, which introduced the two candidates as well as new words. Party, Age, Family, Hobbies, Slogan. I left out policy matters. Even if the English wasn’t too difficult, I doubted they would much care. Then they did a fill-in-the-blank paragraph using the new words they had learned. After, we spent 15 minutes watching some campaign commercials from both sides (stupid ones from both sides too), a few minutes of the third debate, a few minutes of the SNL parody of the third debate, and an “Obama Quest” Daily Show clip.
Then they voted. Across both third grade classes, Obama won in a landslide: 49 votes to 11 for John McCain. That’s a 64-point win! I think we can all feel relieved from this new poll that Obama is in good position for victory.
In addition to their vote, I asked for a short explanation of their decision. Essentially an exit poll. McCain wins on experience, and Obama wins on youth and coolness, with McCain’s age a big deciding factor for this demographic. Here are some of the more interesting ones: