If Donald Trump is hoping to capture the youth vote, he might steer clear of R.M. Miano Elementary School.
The Republican Party nominee not only suffered a landslide loss to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a mock election held by the students last week. He came in fourth.
Trump won just 24 votes, or 3.7 percent of the vote, compared with 505 votes, or 78 percent, for Clinton, Miano Vice Principal Leila Gurgen said.
“Even I was surprised,” Gurgen said. “I thought it would be more evenly spread between the two.”
The results of Thursday’s election were released to students Monday.
Trump finished behind Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate Gloria Estela La Riva, who received 60 votes, and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who received 35 votes. Green Party candidate Jill Stein finished fifth with 17 votes.
Students also were given the opportunity to write in a candidate. “Jesus” received one vote, as did a “unicorn.” Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders received four votes.
President Barack Obama also received a vote with an attached note expressing support for a constitutional amendment to allow him a third term, Gurgen said.
“We have a lot of kids walking through hallways saying, ‘Yes, I knew it was going to be Hillary,’ ” Gurgen said.
The divisive nature of this year’s presidential race also was apparent at the elementary school level. Gurgen said along with making their selections by circling a candidate’s photo on a ballot, many students vehemently scratched out the other major party candidate’s photo.
Students were sent home with sample ballots Tuesday that urged parents to discuss voting with them. Students also were advised not to vote if they were undecided or if they felt they didn’t know enough about the candidates.
Two students from each fifth-grade class were selected to officiate the election and count ballots. No one left the room until all the votes were counted, Gurgen said.
The goal of the mock election was to educate students on the election and political process, Gurgen said.
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562