The Washington and Lee University Mock Convention is a quadrennial tradition in which student delegates attempt to predict the presidential nominee of the political party currently out the of the White House; this year, the Mock Convention will try to select the Republican primary candidate.
Billed as the nation’s most accurate mock convention since its inception in 1908, W&L’s convention cannot claim to be the oldest such exercise; Oberlin College has one that dates back to pre-Civil War days. Nevertheless, for consistent accuracy—and eye-filling opulence—the Mock Convention simply has no peer. With 18 correct predictions in 24 attempts, and only two errors since 1948, the convention has been described by Time as the “biggest and boomingest” of all amateur gatherings. Newsweek, not to be outdone, promptly dubbed it, “the most realistic” student conclave. It has been applauded on the floor of the U.S. Senate as an “outstanding practical experiment in politics.” And as media interest grows steadily in anticipation of an upcoming convention, W&L has received coverage ranging from the Washington Post to live gavel-to-gavel broadcasts on C-SPAN. The Washington and Lee campus is looking forward to “getting it right” in 2012.