Greetings, Mock Con nation! Like any good W&L student, you're probably incredibly busy this summer doing something enviably exciting. Whether you're interning on the Breaking News Desk at CNN or teaching children to play soccer in Ecuador, I beseech you to take two minutes to read this blog post. Although you may not be directly involved with Mock Con (yet!), you can still put yourself in a position to be an engaged participant in the fall. Two words: stay informed. 

Millennials have a bad reputation for possessing a blasé attitude towards elections. Many of us are guilty of not taking the time to adequately research presidential candidates. Part of this is due to our lack of participation in the primaries. Some of you are probably reading this thinking, "But I always vote in the primaries!" If that's the case - keep on keepin' on. But if you are someone who tends to ignore this crucial part of election season, I command you to change your outlook. (Ok, command is a tad aggressive. How about highly, highly, highly suggest?)

Many of us fall victim to selling our souls to a political party. For instance, if you are a die-hard Republican, you may think that you don't have to waste your time voting in the primaries because you are just going to vote for whomever the Republican nominee is anyways--regardless of whether she or he is the most qualified candidate out of the field of Republicans who are running.

But I challenge you to turn over a new leaf this election and to read up on ALL of the candidates vying for their party's nomination.  

Here are some of our favorite tools to get you quickly caught up on the candidates who've already announced they're running:

THE SKIMM 

Follow SKIMM YOUR CANDIDATE to read guest Skimms by the candidates themselves. 

Or you can view the SKIMM GUIDES PAGE to learn about issues that are affecting politics today. 

POLITICO 

Read Politico's 2016 CAMPAIGN COVERAGE for up-to-date campaign news, polls, results, debates, and presidential candidates. 

THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Is it hard to figure out WHO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT (AND WHO'S NOT)? Look no further, because this page provides an organized chart of who has declared candidacy, who might declare, who probably won't, and who definitely is not. From there you can explore candidate information and see what the NYTimes thinks each candidate will need to do to win.