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This coming fall, students, faculty and staff at Western Illinois University will embark on the third quadrennial Mock Presidential Election (MPE), "The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University." According to Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy, WIU's previous two mock election events (held in 2007 and 2011) were the largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation.
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WIU to Hold Mock Presidential Election Fall 2015; Initial Interest Meeting for Students Feb. 5

January 27, 2015


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MACOMB, IL — This coming fall, students, faculty and staff at Western Illinois University will embark on the third quadrennial Mock Presidential Election (MPE), "The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University." According to Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy, WIU's previous two mock election events were the largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation.

"Indeed, Western's MPE may even be the most accurate political bellwether in the country. In 2007, Western students accurately elected Democrat Barack Obama president of the United States—one year before it actually happened," Hardy explained. "Recall that leading into the actual Iowa causes in 2008, Hillary Clinton was the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and few if any political pundits believed that an African American could win the nomination, let alone win the White House. In 2011, WIU students accurately predicted a narrow Obama reelection over the Republican ticket of Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan," Hardy added.

Western students interested in serving as campaign managers, field workers and campaign staffers are invited to attend the first 2015 MPE organization meeting, which is set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 in Morgan Hall 109. (Students interested in serving as leaders, but who cannot attend the initial meeting, can contact Hardy at RJ-Hardy@wiu.edu.)

Hardy said the 2015 MPE will be an entirely student-run activity, which will take place over nine evening sessions and simulate the entire presidential selection process, from the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, through the national nominating conventions, to the Electoral College vote.

The event will also involve thousands of Leathernecks from every college at Western and virtually every school and department on campus, he noted.

"We will have live music, television broadcasts, newspaper coverage and visits from important civic leaders," Hardy said. "During the initial meeting, we will discuss the process, explain the rules, break into political parties (Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Libertarians) and begin choosing presidential candidates to represent."

The list of potential presidential hopefuls is already long and growing. Possible Democratic Party candidates include: Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner. The growing roll Republican Party candidates include: Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, John Kasich, and Lindsey Graham. Probable Green Party candidates include: Cynthia McKinney and Jill Stein. Potential Libertarian Party candidates are: Drew Carry, Gary Johnson, Darryl Perry and R. Lee Wrights.

For more information, contact Hardy at (309) 298-2228 or RJ-Hardy@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations