Who won the November mock caucus organized by the Webster University College Democrats?
Blain McVey, president of Webster University College Democrats (WUCD), had just gotten back from Iowa’s Liberty and Justice Celebration when the idea of a mock caucus event struck.
“When we were at the event, we did a mock caucus with both Iowa and Missouri College Democrats,” McVey said, “We were like ‘Oh, this is really fun. We might as well come back and do it for the students here at Webster.’”
Iowa is one of 10 states that use the caucus method to select the nominee for the presidential election. After McVey and John Wallis went to Iowa, they thought about how they could educate Webster students about the historically large number of Democratic nominees.
“Our goal is to get people to care about politics,” McVey said, “I think the foundation of politics is making sure people go vote.”
Caucuses encourage debate, speeches and persuasion of voters. At Webster, each candidate’s name was written on a piece of paper and placed on a table. Marianne Williamson, one of the candidates, was nicknamed “orb mother” as a play on her views. There was also an “undecided” category, for those who did not know who they wanted to vote for.
Many of the nominees were knocked out in the first round, including the “orb mother.” Only Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang had remaining students to represent them.
Wallis represented Amy Klobuchar while Gino Kler represented Andrew Yang. There were three undecided voters.
McVey encouraged the representatives to make the caucus as real as possible. This meant debating. Undecided voters asked questions and the occasional joke against the other candidate.
Garrett Dohlke and Morgan Antisdel were two of the attendees at the Bernie Sanders table.
“What does Andrew Yang have to offer besides $1,000 a month?” Dohlke asked his rival.
After the first round, only Sanders and Klobuchar survived. In the end, Sanders had five delegates, Klobuchar had three and Yang had one. There was only one undecided voter.
Antisdel watched the event unfold as she ate the free pizza offered at the event.
“I’m having a lovely time engaging in caucus activities,” Antisdel said, “I get to see what a caucus is really like. I’m learning a lot.”
Dohlke ate pizza, quoted a “Saturday Night Live” skit about the Democratic nominees and debated the night away.
“I felt good arguing for Bernie,” Dohlke said. ”It was a good way to get my beliefs out there and hear from others as well. It also made me more confident in my political beliefs.”
McVey plans on hosting another mock caucus before the primary elections. WUCD is planning for the week before the Mar. 10 election, but will keep Webster students updated through their social media accounts.