230 Days of Polls

Eliza Badiozamani, Staff Writer

Mikey Redding is a senior at Issaquah High School. Many students know Mikey for his positive attitude and radiant smile, but his largest claim to fame might be his nightly Instagram polls. Mikey said he began his polls during the debates between Kim Schrier and Dino Rossi to check out the opinion of Issaquah students on which candidate they preferred, and then things grew from there. His polls range from politically-charged, potentially controversial questions about climate change and LGBTQ rights, to simple questions about whether or not voters like eating walnuts. “I think my favorite are the political ones, the more ‘relevant’ ones. But the most joy comes from the sillier ones,” said Redding, in regards to which type of poll he enjoys making the most. On June 3rd he decided to make a poll that deviated more towards his more serious and politically relevant topics, asking voters if they identified as LGBTQ of not. The results showed that the LGBTQ part of the high school was a small minority, even among Mikey’s more progressive follower base, at about 21%.

As a fairly regular voter in Mikeys polls, I was curious to see if he had any regular fans. Mikey told me that indeed he had many regular fans, but seniors Audrey Jacobson and Allen Aby were among his most enthusiastic: “Allen and Audrey are always fighting over being first to vote, they’re the most loyal voters I have.” Jacobson said, “Every night that I get a notification that Mikey has posted one of his polls, I race to answer. It makes me feel so accomplished. I love Mikey’s polls.” After creating original polls for over 32 weeks, I was interested to find out how he was inspired to come up with new ideas, and he said that it was usually based on how he was feeling that day and if there was a relevant political question to ask that day, saying, “Sometimes if I’m lazy or it’s really late I’ll do something simple that I come up with really quickly.” He feared that maybe in college he will run out of poll ideas, so they may not continue beyond high school or summer.

Using these polls, Mikey and his followers can get a picture of the opinions of the student body. Seeing the results of his polls from on average over 200 students can help one compare how their opinions line up with a sample of the Issaquah High School student opinion. Mikey said that it is rare that a poll result will surprise him: “There was one that surprised me, but I forget which. A lot of them don’t because I know that myself and a lot of my friends are a pretty good representation of what most students at Issaquah think, so a lot of them don’t.” He has also taken to utilizing to spread his political values very mildly through his instagram stories, expanding beyond polls. Recently, Redding has begun to occasionally post an unobtrusive political message, such as about climate change or the recent vote in Alabama, as a way to get a message heard without being too in the face of others who may view things differently.

After more than 230 days of polls, serious and important, or silly and fun, Mikey Redding has left a positive and interesting impact on the lives of students at IHS. He manages to give people something to look forward to every night, and a way to gain insight into the thoughts of a portion of students at our school. I personally can not wait to see what new polls he will come up with in the future, and I am sure lots of his followers agree.

Gathering student opinions: Mikey Redding is a senior at Issaquah that started making nightly polls at the beginning of the year. Mikey uses his Instagram platform to learn more about the student population and entertain his friends, amassing over 200 regular voters.