What is Mock Convention?

Mock Convention is an entirely student-run, non-partisan political organization at Washington and Lee University, located in Lexington, VA. Mock Convention is first and foremost a research project, its purpose being to correctly predict the presidential nominee for the political party not currently occupying the White House. Operating on a quadrennial cycle, Mock Convention embellishes its student research at three separate events: Spring Kickoff, the Presidential Gala, and the main event, Convention Weekend. By the time Convention Weekend arrives, Mock Convention has traditionally involved 95% of the Washington and Lee University student body.

The Colonnade Cake, by Baltimore's Charm City Cakes, being cut by the 2012 Tri-Chairs at Spring Kickoff 2011.

Our Vision

In 2016, we see Washington and Lee University students at the center of a national conversation about the participation of young people in electoral politics. We will engage students, faculty, the media, and the public through the research and organization necessary to hold a successful Mock Convention, and to accurately predict the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States. 

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour speaking at Convention Weekend 2012.

Our Mission

The Washington and Lee University Mock Convention is an exercise in political analysis and research that exceeds the highest academic and professional standards for excellence. In attempting to accurately predict who the opposition party will nominate to serve as President of the United States, we seek to inspire enduring  interest and active participation in the electoral process, both in the Washington and Lee community and in the public at large.

The 26th Washington and Lee University Mock Convention

Spring Kickoff 2015

May 7-9

The official start of convention festivities, Spring Kickoff is a weekend of student and faculty panels, food and band parties, and a featured speaker.


Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was the Keynote Speaker at Spring Kickoff 2012.

Presidential Gala 2015

November 14

Presidential Gala captures the spirit of a high power Washington D.C. gathering, and builds excitement for the approaching convention festivities.

Hats from the 1972 Mock Convention cycle. (Courtesy of W&L Special Collections)

Convention Weekend 2016

February 11-13

Convention Weekend is the centerpiece of Mock Convention: 4 sessions with a total of 15+ speakers, the Delegate's Parade, and nightly festivities. In 2016, Mock Convention will make its 26th prediction by selecting the next nominee of the GOP.

Political Chair Zach Wilkes '12/'15L announces the prediction at the final session of Convention Weekend 2012.