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Historically Accurate Mock Convention Makes Presidential Picks for 2024

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WASHINGTON – Young voters came out in record numbers for the 2020 election. Four years later, new polls show a lack of enthusiasm as presidential candidates try to figure out how to connect. 

It's why President Biden is on TikTok – the controversial app dominated by Gen Z – in the latest attempt to court young voters in a consequential election year. 

For 116 years, the students at Washington and Lee University in Virginia have been putting on MockCon. The student-run Mock Convention sets out to mimic the real thing for whichever party is out of power. 

To put it bluntly, they are the very votes politicians are so desperately trying to tap into. 

MockCon has accurately predicted party nominees over 70% of the time. And the age group has the opportunity to help decide the next commander-in-chief. 

Students at Washington and Lee University in Virginia put on MockCon, a mock political convention.

For junior Tommy Holstead, the choice is clear. "That is Donald Trump. He has my support and he should have the entire country's," he told CBN. 

Holstead says there's no secret issue out there to win him over. For the Texas-born student, it's the border.

"It's a policy that directly affects me and my state, and everything that I guess goes along with that. I think his strong stance on the border sets him apart from every other candidate in the race," he said. 

Henry Haden runs the university's College Republicans chapter. He says younger voters value having their voices heard.

"Free speech, that's a very important thing. As some of the speakers highlighted – cancel culture. I think our generation is not too enthusiastic about that," Haden said during the convention.
For both Republicans and Democrats, the age gap between the candidates and the young voting bloc can't be ignored. 

"My dad was raised as a Reagan Republican and I've come in really in the era of Trump when I was in middle school going into high school, that's all I've really known. I think you have some differences there," Haden told CBN. 

Junior student Josh Brown agreed.

"Age is a huge factor, age is a huge factor. There isn't anybody promoted, the final nominees, both young and someone you can relate to. There's no relatability between the party and the platform and the actual voters on the ground especially amongst young voters," Brown told CBN. 

With Biden currently uncontested on the Democrat side, the mock conventioneers chose Trump as the Republican nominee. They also predicted New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik would nab the GOP's V.P. nomination. 

Students at Washington and Lee University in Virginia put on MockCon, a mock political convention.

Now it's up to the candidates to figure out if they can get the future of the country on their side.

In perhaps a warning to candidates, a poll from Harvard University released before the new year showed a potential lack of enthusiasm this election cycle. The number of young Americans who answered they would "definitely" be voting in this election was down almost 10% from the 2020 numbers. 


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About The Author


Matt Galka serves as a Capitol Hill Correspondent and Senior Washington Correspondent for CBN News. He joined CBN in March of 2022 after most recently reporting in Phoenix, AZ. In Phoenix, Matt covered multiple stories that had national implications, including reports on the southern border and in-depth coverage of Arizona's election audit. Before Phoenix, Matt was in Tallahassee, FL, reporting on state government at the Florida Capitol and serving as a general assignment reporter. Matt's stories in Arizona earned him multiple Emmy awards and nominations. The Florida Associated Press