The majority of Orange County voters are expected to choose Vice President George Bush for President on Tuesday--and so are their kids.
As their parents go to the polls, many members of the too-young-to-vote set will be casting their ballots for President in classroom mock elections across the county.
Yes, there are budding Democrats out there who will vote for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, although they may be timid about speaking out in classrooms dominated by Bush supporters. Some of them may have voted Oct. 1 in the May Co. Foundation-sponsored mock election held in May Co. stores throughout Southern California. About 4,000 young people, mostly ages 10 to 12, voted--the polling sites included six Orange County stores--and the outcome was 53% for Dukakis, 47% for Bush.
But teachers in Republican-dominated Orange County say that most of their students reflect their parents' views. Bush was favored by 72 of the 88 fifth- and eighth-grade students in Irvine, Santa Ana and Newport Beach who were asked their presidential preference in an informal survey.
Here's what they had to say about Bush:
"I would choose George Bush because he has more experience than Michael Dukakis and he encourages the death penalty."
--Jay Roman, 13,
Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine
"I would vote for him because he will keep people in jail and lower taxes."
--Chris Greinke, 13,
"I would rather vote for George Bush because . . . I think he has more experience, especially on foreign affairs. The only thing about him that turns me off is Dan Quayle."
--Nhu Le, 13,
MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana
"I would vote for this President because I think he would be a good leader for this country and I think Dukakis is fake."
--Kristi Patton, 10,
Mariners Elementary School, Newport Beach
And about Dukakis:
"I like what Dukakis is doing about the military. He is trying to gain peace any way that he can."
--James Pittenger, 13,
"Bush looked good in the beginning and people overlooked Dukakis, and now they see where he's coming from. It will be a close race."
--Joshua Swigart, 10,
"I would vote for Dukakis because the United States needs better education in our schools and he's the one to do that."
--Jacob Matlin, 10,
"I would vote for Dukakis because he is fighting the war on drugs."
--Graham Hoover, 10,
And what is the biggest problem the next President will face when he takes office? "I think the biggest problem will be that we have to provide less-fortunate people with jobs, homes and food. People who are lucky don't really seem to care enough anymore."
--Shalu Jani, 13,
"He has to reach a nuclear arms agreement with the Soviets so there will be no war. He also has to decrease the country's debt."
--Lori Shim, 13,
"I think the biggest problem is the defense/war. The bombs, the killings and the injured are hurting everyone. We don't know if we are still alive the next 20 years! We fear about it!"
--Cynthia Huynh, 13,
"The biggest problem I think will be that both people running for President are lying and they won't do exactly what they say."
--Jennifer Gardner, 10,
"I think taxes are way too high. Lucky for the kids, there's no taxes on candy."
--Brian Mann, 10,
Justin Turner, 10, of Mariners Elementary School seemed to sum it up: "We need a President that will do something."