Mock Election Mirrors State’s Midterm Results

Students’ selections in Central’s mock election predicted the outcome of most statewide midterm elections.

By Hunter Hufstutler and Harrison Byars

As the dust settles from the midterm elections that took place recently, many of the candidates that Central High School had predicted to win in their mock election ended up winning. A week prior to the midterms, Central High School government classes banded together to run a mock election. To many people’s shock, the results from the mock election were astonishingly similar to the real results.

Mr. Thovson, a government teacher at Central High School, wanted to help give his students a taste of what the voting polls are really like. The mock election used a ballot modeled after the real ballot for the midterm. The mock ballot featured votes for our governor, secretary of state, and U.S. house representative. It also allowed students to vote for amendments W, X, Z, and initiative measures 24 and 25.

Senior Calvin Moehlman voted in the real election and the mock election at Central. “The mock election made the real election feel more important,” Calvin said. The mock election also served as a way for students to learn more about who is running for each position and what amendments are being proposed. “We found some of the results of the mock election to be disappointing, so the real election had that same buzz, but it also felt like a second chance,” Calvin stated.

After all of the students’ votes had been counted Mr. Thovson compiled the data and waited to compare it to the midterms happening later that week. The mock election predicted that Dusty Johnson would win house representative with 54% of the votes, and in the real election he ended up winning with 60% of the votes. The students’ results were very close on all of the other ballot measures and positions. For example, Kristi Noem was predicted to win with 45% of the votes and finished with 51% of votes in the midterm.

The closest the mock election got to the real election was with initiative measure 24. In the mock election, 55% of the students voted yes for passing it while the other 45% voted no. The actual election results revealed that 56% of people voted yes for on the measure while the other 44% voted against it.

With some of the students’ election predictions coming within 1% of the real election results, it is obvious that the political views of the students at Central High School are not all that different from those of the adults in Rapid City.


Photo: Election day! by Scott on Flickr

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