Continuing a 56-year quadrennial tradition, on Thursday, January 14, Moorestown Friends School will host its 15th Mock Primary Election (MPE). The event will include the traditional entrance parade, political speeches and debates from the candidates, final campaigning efforts, and educational workshops. Workshops cover topics and feature activities surrounding politics or governance, but cover a wide spectrum, including political humor, the impact of public speaking, social activism, climate change, immigration, and much more.
From 1960 to 1996, MFS held Mock Political Conventions which typically featured the party that was out of power at the time. Since 2000, MFS has held a Mock Primary Election. To mirror the real election, if an incumbent president is running, the school only holds a primary for the other party. Since that is not the case in 2016, and both primaries are wide open, the school is holding both Democratic and Republican primaries. MFS Upper School students portray the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail, participating in debates, town hall meetings, and the Primary Election. Students representing the candidates have become well-versed on pressing issues in American politics, such as national security, gun control, immigration, LGBTQ rights, climate change, education, healthcare, and the federal budget. During the many MPE programs leading up to the Mock Primary Election, constituents have the opportunity to become informed voters and learn about candidates’ positions on these topics before they cast their vote for President of the United States. This tradition began in 1960 and provides students with experiential political, social, and historical lessons that extend far beyond any chapter in a textbook.
For the Mock Primary Election 2016, 12 students are representing the men and women in the presidential race: John Barton ’17 (Bernie Sanders), Andrew Cates ’16 (Martin O’Malley), Connor Cronk ’17 (Chris Christie), Dragon Ding ’17 (John Kasich), Andrew Landesman ’18 (Jeb Bush), Andrew Lin ’18 (Ben Carson), Ian Millstein ’18 (Marco Rubio), Emily Mitchell ’18 (Carly Fiorina), Isaac Munoz ’17 (Ted Cruz), Tyler Rutherford ’18 (Rand Paul), Nick Tursi ’17 (Donald Trump), Rachael Whitley ’17 (Hillary Clinton).
MFS Mock Primary/Convention Nominees – A Look Back
MFS mock voters have picked the actual nominee only three times: Michael Dukakis in 1988 and both Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. Below is a list of MFS winners, and their real world counterparts, since 1960:
|Year||MFS Nominee(s)||Actual Nominee(s)|
|1960||Stuart Symington||John F. Kennedy|
|1964||William Scranton||Barry Goldwater|
|1968||Nelson Rockefeller||Richard Nixon|
|1972||Hubert Humphrey||George McGovern|
|1976||Mo Udall||Jimmy Carter|
|1980||George H. Bush||Ronald Reagan|
|1984||George McGovern||Walter Mondale|
|1988||Michael Dukakis||Michael Dukakis|
|1992||Jerry Brown||Bill Clinton|
|1996||Arlen Specter||Bob Dole|
|2000||Bill Bradley||Al Gore|
|John McCain||George W. Bush|
|2004||Dennis Kucinich||John Kerry|
|2008||John McCain||Barack Obama|
|2012||Jon Huntsman||Mitt Romney|
Enjoy some highlights from the Mock Primary Election archives!