1. Education

Hold a Mock Presidential Campaign and Election


Follow these steps to help your students get a great introduction to presidential campaigns and candidates.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1 week

Here's How:

  1. Pick two to three real candidates for the presidency who you wish to have 'run' against each other. They can be from any historical period including today.
  2. Pick seven or eight issues on which the candidates from number one have taken positions. Examples include abortion, gun control, and education.
  3. Investigate the positions that your chosen candidates took on each of the issues from step number two. Also fill out a brief biographical sketch on each candidate.
  4. Pick nondescript names for your candidates. Examples might include John Smith, Tom Jones, etc.
  5. Present the candidates to your classes in chart form, stating all of the issues along with a brief biography. Make sure to exclude information that might give away the identity of these imposters.
  6. Have students pick the candidate with which they most agree. Make a tally of this 'vote'.
  7. Place students on a 'campaign committee' in each class for the candidate they like the most. Students who have no preference can be placed in whatever group needs more people.
  8. Have each campaign create a platform for their candidate.
  9. Have each campaign make posters and commercials for their candidates to raise awareness. These can be positive and/or negative.
  10. Hold a multi-class election. If you wish, other teachers can participate in the election.
  11. Debrief the students by revealing who each candidate really represented.


  1. Encourage politicking between classes.
  2. Don't give your candidates ethnic names or choose a female candidate because students may not focus on the issue differences, unless you are going to reveal their names/sexes after the initial vote.

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