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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The 2024 election and the “culture wars”: where do Webbies stand? — Part One

Eric Luo
Aaron Yang (‘25) and Luke Smith (‘25) model the current political climate of division in the upcoming election. “The current political climate is quite a firestorm,” Aaron Yang (‘25) said. “While I don’t really follow politics, I can feel the tension even here at Webb sometimes.” Positive feelings between America’s two parties are at an all-time low, reflecting an increasingly divided nation.

Webb’s Honor Code proclaims that “right and wrong are objective and can be known;” however, belief in objective morality means that Webbies often forget how diverse their opinions truly are. After all, that is the essence of politics: embracing disagreements and figuring out compromises. 

A good first step in acknowledging diversity of perspectives is to illuminate different Webb students’ opinions. 

As such, the WCC conducted a poll of Webb students. 56 students responded and we have our results. You’ll see not only how a segment of the Webb community feels but also the demographic differences between WSC and VWS, as well as between day students, domestic boarders, and international boarders. 

This is part one of a two-part series on the WCC political poll. Here, we will look at Webbies’ opinions on political expression, the 2024 election, and social issues. The second part, which looks at foreign policy, economics, and science issues will be coming soon.  

Note that the 90%-confidence margins of error are 8%, 12%, 10%, 10%, 16%, and 17% for the overall student body, VWS, WSC, day student, domestic boarder, and international boarder results respectively.  For context, standard polling generally has a margin of error of around 3-5%, so please use the poll to see general trends rather than specific data. 

“Margin of error allows us to construct a confidence interval of a certain confidence level,” said Jose Munoz-Lopez, who teaches AP statistics. “For example, if we find a sample proportion of 0.283 (28.3%) liberals at Webb and a margin of error (at the 90% confidence level) of 8%, then we are 90% confident that the true proportion of liberal Webbies is between 20.3% and 36.3%.”  

Additionally, there is unavoidable selection bias, so remember that the poll only measures the opinions of around 15% of the Webb community, who decided to fill out this poll. 

So, without further ado, let us take a look at where Webb falls politically.  

Firstly, let us look at how respondents view themselves and Webb politically. Most Webb students self-identify as liberal or leaning liberal, however, there is a significant moderate and conservative minority. Reflecting an larger political trend among young men and women, VWS is significantly more liberal than WSC. 

Which of the following would best describe your political orientation? 

Despite a significant moderate and conservative minority, Webbies tend to describe the school as liberal. 

Which of the following would you describe the Webb community as? 

Looking towards the upcoming 2024 election, most Webb students “strongly disapprove” of former president Donald Trump, but there are also some who approve and are neutral towards him. This result is around 15% more disapproving of the president than California as a whole at 62% disapproval. 

Do you approve of former president Donald Trump? 

Webb students also disapprove of incumbent Joe Biden, but not as strongly. A majority disapprove, and very few approve of the sitting president, reflecting general trends among younger voters.  However, there are astill supporters of the president. “Don’t mess with dark Brandon,” Aaron said. 

Do you approve of President Joe Biden? 

Likely due to the lesser disapproval of Joe Biden, most Webb students showed that they would vote for Joe Biden if given the opportunity. This result is slightly more Biden-supporting compared to California’s current polling average at 61.8% to 38.2% in favor of Biden (in a Trump v Biden matchup). 

If you were to vote in the 2024 election, who would you prefer?  

Students are split about whether Webb offers opportunities for political discussion. While most agree that Webb offers opportunities outside the classroom, Webbies are evenly split about discussion inside the classroom. 

Webb provides opportunities for political discussion outside of the classroom

Webb provides opportunities for political discussion in the classroom 

In terms of social issues, Webb students generally agree on stricter gun control. 

Gun laws should be _________ 

Webb students also say they favor some form legalization of marijuana with a plurality supporting it for only medicinal purposes. 

Marijuana (weed) usage and possession should be _________ 

On the gender pay gap, Webb students believe it is a problem. However, there is significant disagreement over whether the government should intervene to stop it, with VWS and domestic boarders supporting intervention but WSC being less supportive.  

The gender pay gap ________

On abortion, Webbies are overwhelmingly pro-choice, though WSC is more divided on this issue. 

On gender-affirming care for minors, Webbies are divided. Although around half of respondents support it, a significant minority that contains more WSC and boarders who disagree with the practice. 

Gender-affirming care should be available to minors 

On immigration, Webbies are generally against deportation and stronger physical border security. However, they are very divided on this issue.  

Undocumented immigrants should be fully integrated into American society, rather than being deported 

The United States should take stronger action on physically stopping illegal immigration 

Check out Part Two, coming out soon!

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About the Contributor
Eric Luo
Eric Luo, Co-Editor of News
A skilled conductor Eric Luo (‘25) adeptly orchestrates a symphony of diverse talents, weaving together creative writing, music, and culinary arts. This summer, he not only sharpened his writing skills at a Kenyon College creative writing camp but also explored African history at a Stanford summer camp. As a multi-instrumentalist, he is proficient in saxophone and is self-taught in bassoon and piano. He takes this musical passion a step further by creating compositions on digital audio workstations, such as Logic. Alongside his commitment to composing music and writing, Eric is a cooking enthusiast, dedicated to both the scientific and artistic aspects of gastronomy. Eric’s cooking skills venture beyond conventional recipes as he channels his passion toward cheese-making. Driven by his curiosity for food chemistry and biology, Eric started making cheese during the pandemic. While he loves Brie and Gorgonzola, a timeless classic mozzarella is his favorite to create. From his experimentation in culinary science to writing styles particularly in creative nonfiction essays Eric continually challenges himself. This year, he also aims to experiment in the Webb Canyon Chronicle and transition from feature articles to publishing more opinion pieces to foster change by promoting underrepresented points of view in Webb and the world at large.   Favorite Song: "Big Toe" by The Growlers

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