The Road to the White House starts at Western Illinois University…
Dr. Rick Hardy and Dr. John Hemingway have been leading Mock Presidential Elections off and on since 1975 (at Iowa, Missouri and Western Illinois University). During that time, students who have participated in these mock elections have chosen the winning party with 100% accuracy and have an astonishing record in selecting presidential winners. The Mock Presidential Election is intended as a civic exercise to encourage students to learn about the electoral process. It is not a scientific experiment! Results are merely the result of a simulated political process and represent a snapshot of students’ thinking at one point in time. It is as simple and as complicated as that.

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You can be a player in the upcoming 2016 presidential sweepstakes by participating in what may be the largest and most elaborate mock presidential election ever held on a college campus. Our simulation will take place in ten sessions over five evenings in late October and early November of 2015—roughly two months before the nation turns its attention to the actual Iowa Caucuses.

The events will take place on the campus of Western Illinois University in Macomb. These events, collectively known as “The Road to the White House Starts at Western Illinois University,” will simulate the presidential primaries and the national nominating conventions of the Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians and Tea Partiers. Actual presidential candidates, local politicos and the national news media will be invited to participate. The extravaganza will conclude at Western Hall with the presidential election and Electoral College vote.

Our Mock Presidential Election 2015 is part of the American Democracy Project. It will serve many important purposes. First, and foremost, the simulation will enable us to stimulate civic engagement by allowing students to experience our democratic processes first hand. Second, the process will promote civic education by informing students about the various political parties, candidates, policies and issues facing our nation. Third, the simulation will foster collaborative efforts between colleges in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Fourth, the event will cut across disciplines by engaging students and faculty from a wide-range of academic colleges and departments, including History, Political Science, Music, Art, Economics, International Studies, African American Studies, Life Sciences, Women’s Studies, Law Enforcement, Information Sciences, Criminal Justice, Business, Library Science, Education, Parks and Recreation, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, to name but a few. Finally, the event will enable us to showcase our brightest and best faculty and students—civic leaders, musicians, vocalists, artists, technicians, graphic designers, survey researchers, writers, public speakers, journalists, broadcasters, scholars, administrators and social entrepreneurs.

So, don’t be left out. Join in the Mock Presidential Election 2015. Be part of what promises to be an exciting, eye-popping, fun-filled civic experience of a lifetime.
What we learn with pleasure we never forget.
Alfred Mercier
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