The Washington and Lee University Mock Convention is a simulated presidential nominating convention held every four years by the students of W&L. Its goal is to predict who the party out of power in the White House will nominate to run for President of the United States.
We got our start in 1908 when presidential candidate Williams Jennings Bryan announced a visit to Lexington, VA, sparking interest on W&L’s campus. The Forum, the campus’ largest political club at the time, hosted a replica of the upcoming Democratic Convention to honor the visit of Bryan and to heighten the excitement of the student body. The accurate prediction of Bryan as the nominee cemented Mock Convention as one of the core features of the Washington and Lee experience.
Over 100 years later, the students of Washington and Lee University have gathered to create one of the most ambitious, non-partisan student political research projects in the country. With the stage set for an intense contest for the 2020 Democratic nomination, we invite you to join us as, for the 27th time, we celebrate the complexity and importance of the electoral process.
Why do we do it?
Washington and Lee is a politically-minded campus, comprised of an ever-involved student body. Our distinct connection to the nation's first president drives the campus and makes our mock convention inimitable among others as we carry the legacy of our past into our future.
How do we do it?
Fifty-seven student state delegations draw from the latest polling data, the insights of analysts, and the acumen of on-the-ground contacts in each constituency to predict the distribution of delegates for their states/territories. The prediction from Washington and Lee Mock Convention brings to fruition years of meticulous research and bears the weight of a 112-year legacy.
Are we accurate?
In short, yes. Our tireless research efforts with our community resources and depth of data make the Washington and Lee Mock Convention the most accurate in the country. Since 1908, Washington and Lee has held Mock Convention 26 times. We have predicted the right candidate 20 times, and in 2020, we plan to make that 21.