Gov. Mitt Romney fared far better at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy than past Republican candidates — and better than among the Jewish population as a whole.
Headmaster Sharon Levin recalled past mock elections where the Republican presidential candidate received 5 percent of the vote. Last week, President Barack Obama received 53 percent of the vote but Romney garnered 38 percent, with third party candidates getting the remainder. Among Jewish voters in the real world, Obama got 69 to 70 percent; Romney got 30 percent.
Some years, Levin said her A.P. government class had only one Republican student. It is now a roughly even split.
“I don’t know if it’s because of Middle East policy” or if it’s Jews moving up the economic ladder, but the school “has become more conservative, more Republican,” said Levin, who showed up on Election Day wearing American flag pants.
The Bryn Mawr school held a debate between surrogates for the Republican and Democratic candidates on the morning of Nov. 6 and students “voted” in the afternoon.
The surrogate candidates had microphone headsets and moved around the auditorium stage as they traded arguments. Dobhran Black, who acted as Obama, wore a blue tie and jeans; Dan Livingston played Romney and was more casual in a V-neck sweater and jeans. Both students are seniors.
Sarah Krulik, who helped organize the debate, said she remembers lots of side conversations and little real engagement among students four years ago during the school’s mock presidential debate.
“I was so excited with how everyone got into it” this time, said the 17-year-old senior, who spent several hours after school on Election Day monitoring polling stations with her mother for the Committee of Seventy, a government watchdog organization.