In the first-ever statewide student mock election, students cast more votes for a Socialist than a native son.
SMYRNA, TN — As widely predicted, Donald Trump took an easy victory in Tennessee, winning nearly every county in the state outside of the major metros and the yellow-dog counties of southwest Tennessee and in a shock result, a Socialist beat a native son.
No, you didn’t take a week-long nap. The presidential election is still next week. The results in question are those of the first-ever, statewide student mock election, unveiled by Secretary of State Tre Hargett at Smyrna’s Thurman Francis Arts Academy (coincidentally, or perhaps not, one of the most competitive “precincts” in this ersatz election, with Trump beating Hilary Clinton by four votes).
Nearly 166,000 students from 479 schools — public, private and home-school — participated in the election, Hargett said, which showed a decided advantage for Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee took 53.1 percent of the vote, with Clinton picking up 34.3 percent. Students were given the same ballot as their parents, which included the independent candidates as well (in Tennessee, no third party has achieved ballot access to the level that affiliation is listed along with the candidate’s name). Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson won 5 percent of the vote, while Reform Party nominee and American Delta Party founder Rocky De La Fuente tied with Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 2.3 percent.
Perhaps the most interesting result came in the race for wooden spoon. Socialist Workers Party nominee Alyson Kennedy eked out a win over Farragut High School graduate Mike Smith by 105 votes. In fact, Kennedy beat Smith at two of the three Farragut schools that participated — trouncing him by 20 votes at Farragut Intermediate and sneaking away with a one-vote victory at Farragut Middle. Neither received votes from the second-graders at Farragut Primary School.
Ultimately, Trump won every county except the metro counties of Davidson, Shelby and Hamilton, the southwest Tennessee counties of Fayette, Hardeman and Madison and, in a bit of a surprise, Shelbyville’s Bedford County, which drew praise from the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus.
See an in-depth look at the results from the Secretary of State here.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr Commons
By J.R. Lind (Patch Staff) – November 2, 2016 3:46 pm ET