Obama trounces McCain in students' mock election

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October 29, 2008
— Haley Abb was excited when she heard she was going to be voting for president Tuesday.

The Washington School fourth-grader is an ardent supporter of Barack Obama, and her hopes came true when her candidate won in a landslide in the mock election among Janesville elementary school students.

The total was 3,761 for Obama and 1,348 for John McCain.

The mock vote has been a part of education in Janesville schools for many years. The kids accurately predicted the real vote in 1988, 1992 and 1996. They went for the eventual losers, Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry, in the last two elections.

The vote ends an educational process in which kids learned about elections. Kids in Haley's class filled in tally sheets as results were announced live on cable TV on Tuesday.

Haley said she paid attention to TV commercials and decided she preferred Obama's positions.

"And I just personally don't like him," she said of John McCain.

All of Haley's classmates supported Obama, said their teacher, Jean-Marie McMorran. Among them was Tevin Anderson.

"I think he could be a good leader," Tevin said when asked why. "And because McCain's been telling lies about him, and he really wants to help us with stuff."

McMorran rounded up McCain supporters from a neighboring classroom. Dakota Belmontes, Rachel Gies, Colin Delaney and Marci Mitchell expressed their disappointment.

All said McCain is the man who could end the Iraq War the way it should be ended. If Obama wins, terrorists will attack the United States, Colin said.

"They're going to bomb us. They're going to bomb a lot," Colin said. "They're going to bring the war to America."

"He was in a war, and Obama wasn't," Rachel pointed out.

And McCain's been a senator for a lot longer than Obama, Marci noted.

Colin thought McCain still has a chance in the real election, and he recommended a way to win Janesville: Promise to bring back production to the General Motors plant.

Down at the Janesville School District's administration building, teacher Allison Pennycook reported the votes from each of the 12 public elementary schools and seven religious schools.

It became clear early that Obama was going to win. In the end, McCain won a majority only at Rock County Christian, St. Matthew's, St. John Vianney and St. Paul's schools.

Electoral votes were assigned to each school based on enrollment. Kids at Washington kept track of both the popular vote and the electoral numbers, learning that it's a case of winner-takes-all.

Most kids voted for the two mainstream candidates, but two students dared to be different. One voted for Ron Paul and one for Ralph Nader.


Here are the results of a mock election in Janesville elementary schools.

Public schools


McCain: 85

Obama: 307



McCain: 94

Obama: 197



McCain: 48

Obama: 239



McCain: 73

Obama: 227



McCain: 72

Obama: 228



McCain: 68

Obama: 323



McCain: 60

Obama: 278



McCain: 91

Obama: 305



McCain: 58

Obama: 280


Van Buren

McCain: 68

Obama: 270



McCain: 87

Obama: 342



McCain: 58

Obama: 286

Religious schools

Rock County Christian

McCain: 52

Obama: 16


St. John Vianney

McCain: 91

Obama: 64


St. Mary

McCain: 52

Obama: 105


St. Matthew's

McCain: 91

Obama: 28


St. Patrick

McCain: 20

Obama: 54


St. Paul's

McCain: 139

Obama: 100


St. William

McCain: 41

Obama: 113


Is your classroom or school holding a mock election for president? If so, we'd like to publish the results. Send them to reporter Frank Schultz by e-mail at fschultz@gazettextra.com or call (608) 755-8252.

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