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Western Illinois University sophomore Dovile Svirupskaite (Lockport, IL), a law enforcement and justice administration major, with Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Oct. 6. In Western's 3rd Mock Presidential Election, which kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 20 on the Macomb campus, Svirupskaite is serving as Clinton's campaign manager.
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Scene from the second Mock Presidential Election, "The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University," in 2011. WIU's previous two MPEs (2007 and 2011) were the largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation—and both yielded spot-on results of the subsequent years' presidential elections.
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Scene from the second Mock Presidential Election, "The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University," in 2011. WIU's previous two MPEs (2007 and 2011) were the largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation—and both yielded spot-on results of the subsequent years' presidential elections.
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WIU to Produce Third Mock Presidential Election, "The Road to the White House Starts at Western IL University"; Five-Session Simulation to Kick Off Oct. 20

October 7, 2015


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MACOMB, IL — "The Road to White House Starts at Western Illinois University" is not just a snappy saying. The declaration has been proven true twice before, and based on the results of the two previous WIU Mock Presidential Elections (MPEs), the expression is on its way to being an adage. According to Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy, one of the individuals at Western involved in organizing the event, WIU's previous two MPEs were the largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation—and both yielded spot-on results of the subsequent years' presidential elections.

"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 caucuses 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.

In less than two weeks, staring Tuesday, Oct. 20, students, faculty and staff at Western will embark on the third quadrennial Mock Presidential Election (MPE), titled: "The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University." Hardy said the 2015 MPE will be an entirely student-run activity, which will take place over five 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 Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University 2011

The event will involve thousands of Leathernecks—from every college at Western and virtually every school and department on campus—showing them the importance of civic engagement and providing them with an in-depth understanding of how the entire presidential election process actually works.

"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. Democratic Party candidates include: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, Lawrence Lessig and Lincoln Chafee. Republican Party candidates include: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump. In addition, Jill Stein is a declared Green party candidate, and Robert David Steele has declared his candidacy for the Libertarian Party.

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

The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University Mock Presidential Election: 2015 Schedule

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (WIUNews@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations