The University of Western Illinois is famed for their tradition of holding mock elections – and for the startling accuracy with which they predict the winner of the real election. In a surprise twist, this year’s event crowned Bernie Sanders as the winner 2016 general election, defeating Hillary two-to-one in the primary before obliterating a Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio ticket in a landslide. While this is an exercise designed to teach students about civic engagement and not a scientific poll, the mock election does have a history of being impressively accurate – described here by WIU Centennial Honors College Director Richard Hardy:
“Western’s MPE may be the most accurate political bellwether in the country. In 2007, Western students accurately elected Democrat Barack Obama president of the United States—one year before it actually happened. In 2011, WIU students accurately predicted a narrow Obama reelection over the Republican ticket of Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan. Once again, this year, students from every college at Western and virtually every school and department on campus participated by helping to organize the MPE and attending the sessions. The MPE not only showed them the importance of civic engagement, but also provided them with an in-depth understanding of how the entire presidential election process works.”
While clearly not a scientific assessment, it is a fun exercise that predicts that the Bernie Sanders political revolution will utterly sweep the nation and hopefully usher in a new era of socialist policies which will uplift our dying middle class and prepare our nation for the coming storms of climate change, which could shove a hundred million people into extreme poverty over the next fifteen years. This upcoming election is possibly the most important one our nation will ever have, and Bernie Sanders is an excellent candidate to take charge of our future.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.