Posted by: Staff | 03.03.2008

How Do the Beaver Mock-Elections Compare to the Real World Results?

ELIZABETH COBB ?08 & GABBY GUTMAN ?11

Last Tuesday millions of Americans from 22 states went out to vote in the Super Tuesday presidential primary. Additionally, Beaver?s student council held a mock election, giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to support their favorite candidates. Polls were open in the morning and afternoon, giving voters the option of choosing a Democrat or Republican ballot. For the Democrats one could choose from, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mike Gravel. The Republican candidates were John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Both ballots also had the option of a ?write-in? candidate, where voters could vote for someone not listed on the ballot. Though this option had been exploited in the past (David Ortiz got over 20% of the freshman votes for president in 2004) there were only 10 ballots with write-in candidates. The write-ins consisted of Stephen Colbert, New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, Dennis Kusinich, Beowoulf, former presidential hopeful Bob Dole, middle school teacher Jon Greenberg, Jesus and ?Democracy.?

Though the results of the election were not surprising, the turnout was lower than expected. The middle school had 68% participation. Of the 80 student who voted, an overwhelming 92.5% used Democratic ballots, leaving 6 Republican supporters in the three grades. In the upper school, student involvement ranged from 75% of the 10th grade voting to a mere 53% of seniors going to the polls. One of the most surprising parts of the election was the representation of republican voters in the junior class. Beaver, often assumed to be a liberal and strongly democratic school, had 39 upper schoolers opt for the republican ballot, with 36% of the junior class supporting the GOP. However, by far the most disappointing group of voters was the faculty and staff; of 100, only 34 teachers and administrators showed up to support the candidates at school. The poor showing by seniors and staff is most likely due to the fact that many seniors and faculty members could vote in the real election, and saw that opportunity as more important than a mock election.

In the final tally, Obama won the mock election in a landslide with 74% of the Democrat vote. Clinton received 20% of the Democratic vote, while the generally unknown Mike Gravel was only chosen by 11 people. For the Republicans, John McCain won with 51% of the party?s votes. Ron Paul came in second with only 20% of the GOP?s support.

Though it is clear that Beaver ?has a crush on Obama,? many results across the country on Super Tuesday were not so one-sided. On February 5, 2008 there were 24 primaries held throughout the country. These results will help determine who the republican and democratic nominees would be. For the democrats, Hillary Clinton won 782 delegates, barely beating Barrack Obama, who won 757. The number of delegates needed to win the democratic nomination is 2,025, but the closeness of the delegates at this point shows how important the upcoming primaries will be.

On the republican side, John McCain had a huge lead, with 605 delegates, Mitt Romney had 201 and Mike Hukabee came in third with having 152. (Note: for the republicans to get the nomination they need 1,191 delegates.)

For the state-by-state break down, Obama won 13 out of the 22 states that held democratic primaries, leaving Clinton with 9. Here in Massachusetts, Clinton won with 56% of the democratic votes, and Mitt Romney, who has since dropped out, came out in the lead with 51% of the republican votes. Following was McCain with 41%.

Super Tuesday is the day when almost half of the states have their primaries, and the results have a large impact on the final outcome for the presidential nominees. This year much was decided for the Republicans while very little was decided for the Democrats. At the end of the day, Obama and Clinton were neck in neck, while McCain has enough of a lead that his nomination is almost already guaranteed. As the primaries continue the race is very close on both sides, with many suspecting that party candidates will not be decided until the party conferences this summer. The primaries to come will be very exciting as we get closer to the convention.

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