Feature Stories Campus Events

Mock Con 2020 Political Team Update With the home stretch to Mock Con 2020 just around the corner, the political team watches an increasingly contentious primary race.

SOC110119_188-800x533 Mock Con 2020 Political Team UpdateMock Con Gala wristbands

Now that the Presidential Gala has passed, Mock Con’s focus is entirely dedicated to preparing for Convention Weekend 2020, Feb. 14-16.

All 57 delegations, as well as the rest of the Political Team, are continuing their research to try and predict the Democratic nominee in an increasingly contentious primary race.

Currently, 18 Democrats are still in the running for the nomination heading into election year. Recent polls have also shown progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders contesting Joe Biden for popularity.

Nothing is guaranteed at this stage, however. At this point in 2016, Ben Carson was the leading candidate, and many political analysts did not think President Trump had a chance at becoming the Republican nominee.

The role of each state chair is essential to correctly predicting the nominee. Within Mock Con, different committees make up each delegation, including ones for the float, social media and research. The chair of each delegation oversees all of these tasks and is accountable for them.

Judy Park ’22, Alaska’s state chair, said that research is the most important role of a chair. “Our job is essentially [to keep] everything running smoothly within our delegation in regard to float design, fundraising and most importantly, research.”

Chairs lead their delegations in this research by talking to officials in their state, analyzing statistics from past elections and collecting as much data as they can to make as informed a prediction as possible.

All state chairs submitted a report of their findings thus far in early October. Austin York ’20, Georgia’s state chair, said that these initial reports were introductions into the research the delegations have been conducting since last winter.

“The report consisted of a combination of demographic research, information gained from ground contacts, data from past elections in the state, and our initial opinions on larger political trends in the state,” York said.

This job is not always easy. Pennsylvania State Chair Sofia Cuadra ’20 described the challenge of getting in touch with ground contacts, those working in Democratic politics within the respective states and territories of the chair.

“The hardest part about being a state chair is that Mock Con’s politics division stresses using on-the-ground contacts to aid your research. However, a lot of times I will send emails to pollsters, reporters, [Pennsylvania Democratic] Party leaders, etc., and they do not reply. So, fulfilling that requirement is a bit difficult.”

However, Cuadra added that she is still optimistic. “Despite this challenge, I think the research is going well based on news articles and recent polls. It is still too early to say which candidate will be victorious on primary day,” she said.

By the time Convention Weekend arrives, all the state chairs and their delegates will be eager to see the result of their work. The weekend will be busy, with the parade, expert speakers and the unveiling of the nominee prediction.

Park said she has mixed emotions about Convention Weekend. “I am both excited and scared for the roll call voting, where we reveal who our final prediction is.”

To read more articles from the Mock Con 2020 Communications Team, and to learn more about the 27th-annual mock convention at W&L, head over to the Mock Con website.