Obama wins Mock Presidential Election at Catawba College

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama should be the country’s next president, according to the results of a Mock Presidential Election held at Catawba College Thursday.
Two hundred and forty-four students participated in the election, casting 128 votes for Obama and 110 for the Republican nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Receiving one write-in vote each were Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, Stephen Colbert and Dr. Ken Clapp, Catawba’s senior vice president, director of the Lilly Center and chaplain.
The mock presidential election, sponsored by Catawba’s Political Science Association, a student organization, coincided with the advent of early voting across North Carolina. Its results offer a microscopic glance at the preference that pivotal 18- to 25-year-old voters have for each candidate.
Megan Spidell, a senior from Salisbury and president of Catawba’s Political Science Association, said voting in the mock presidential election “indicates that student interest in America’s future is a lot higher than I anticipated.
“It also surprised me how many people said they were affiliated with one party while voting for the other party’s candidate,” she said.
Spidell said her organization also tried to capture party affiliations of those casting mock presidential ballots with varying degrees of success.
“Not everyone who voted designated a party affiliation, so the numbers casting ballots don’t match the numbers we gathered for the party affiliations,” she said.
Those voting who did designate party affiliations were divided this way: 77 Republicans, 74 Democrats, 52 Independents and one Libertarian.
The Mock Presidential Election was held in the Leonard Lounge of Catawba’s Cannon Student Center, and members of the Political Science Association staffed the polls.
Red-white-and-blue ballots were used along with former homecoming decorations on the table and ballot box, Spidell said.