Democrats win student mock election

DOVER — More than 50,000 students from Wilmington to Laurel cast their ballots this week, and if history holds true again this year, Democrats in the state will be celebrating Tuesday night.

The biennial mock election featured students from upwards of 180 schools selecting their picks for president, governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. representative and insurance commissioner, with Democrats garnering the most votes for all five offices.

The results were officially unveiled Friday at Legislative Hall in a two-hour ceremony where delegates from each district announced who received the most votes in their districts.

Since 2010, the mock election has correctly predicted 13 of 16 races.

The students chose Democrat Hillary Clinton as president, giving her more than 28,000 votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 15,000. Libertarian Gary Johnson pulled in 3,800 votes, while the Green Party’s Jill Stein took about 3,100.

Caesar Rodney students Cyrus Shanesaz, left, and Grace Collins read CR's voting results. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Caesar Rodney students Cyrus Shanesaz, left, and Grace Collins read CR’s voting results. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Jimmy Latavitz of Smyrna High School had the duty of chairman at the Delaware Students Mock Election in the House Chambers at Legislative Hall on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Jimmy Latavitz of Smyrna High School had the duty of chairman at the Delaware Students Mock Election in the House Chambers at Legislative Hall on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

In the race for governor, Democrat John Carney garnered almost 22,000 votes, defeating Republican Colin Bonini who pulled in 14,000 votes. Green Andrew Groff got 5,000, and Libertarian Sean Goward received 3,700.

Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester won the mock race for the seat in the U.S. House, picking up 22,000 votes, while Republican Hans Reigle fell just short of 14,000. Green Party candidate Mark Perri received 5,600, and Libertarian Scott Gesty finished with 3,700.

With 26,000 votes, Democrat Bethany Hall-Long defeated GOP foe La Mar Gunn for lieutenant governor. Mr. Gunn scored 18,000 votes.

Lake Forest student Weston Williams listens during the Delaware Students Mock Election in the House Chambers at Legislative Hall on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Lake Forest student Weston Williams listens during the Delaware Students Mock Election in the House Chambers at Legislative Hall on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

In the contest for state insurance commissioner, Democrat Trinidad Navarro picked up 25,000 votes, more than Republican Jeff Cragg, who earned 20,000.

As the dozens of students packed into the state House chamber and the results were announced, cheers — and some jeers — echoed throughout the room.

The students were greeted by Gov. Jack Markell, a term-limited Democrat who cracked that witnessing “all this enthusiasm almost makes me sad that I’m not on the ballot — almost.”

The event is organized by the state, the University of Delaware Democracy Project and the League of Women Voters. Voting took place this week from Monday to Wednesday, with students in fourth through 12th grade taking part.

Campus Community Charter School was one of three schools honored for having the highest rate of participating, while Capital School District received kudos for school spirit.

Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock speaks at the Delaware Students Mock Election.( Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock speaks at the Delaware Students Mock Election.( Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Urging the students to take part in their civic duty when they are old enough, Gov. Markell said he believes he wouldn’t have won in 2008 were it not for the support of a few dozen teenagers who could not even vote at the time.

“The future of our state has a whole lot more to do with you than it has to do with the adults who are making all the decisions nowadays,” he said.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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