It looks like 2016 is coming up all Bernie. Since 1975, one year prior to the actual presidential elections, Western Illinois University (WIU) has conducted a mock election to make a prediction about who will be the next leader of the United States. The results of this mock election showed Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders winning the presidency with 404 electoral votes — a real landslide.
While many polls related to election results cannot be considered reliable, this particular mock election has a history of accuracy. It predicted Jimmy Carter’s win in 1975 and Barack Obama’s in 2007 and 2011, with a slew of others in between, meaning it should definitely be taken seriously.
These results are, of course, good news for Sanders and Sanders supporters. For a long time, it seemed that him winning the nomination over Hillary Clinton was a long shot. Currently, though, Sanders is right behind Clinton, who has less than a 1 percent lead, and WIU predicts a crushing victory for him.
Results from this mock election are bad news for Republicans, obviously, but not just because they will have to face at least another four years without a president from their party. Reverb Press reports that the findings from WIU might also predict the potential collapse of the Republican party.
It has become clear in recent years that the Republican party is not as strong as it once was. It has already branched off into many factions, ranging from the extremely right wing, Tea Party-style Republicans to more moderate party members. Now, with more candidates than can fit comfortably into one debate, it is clear that there is a lot of division within the party.
Because of this multitude of people who think they are up for the job, there is no solid front runner for the Republican party, something WIU took into account when predicting Jeb Bush as the winner of the nomination.
WIU predicted that over 10 percent of Republican voters would vote Libertarian instead of Republican and that typically red states, including Utah and Wyoming, would end up voting blue. It has been suggested that, with these results, voters could be witnessing the collapse of the Republican party, with the Libertarian party stepping up to replace it.
If you have written Bernie Sanders off as a potential presidential nominee, now might be the time to reconsider. Sanders has really begun to gain momentum with the American people, and, at the very least, these changes in predicted winner results show that he definitely has a chance.
Of course, it must be remembered that WIU’s election is a mock election, merely a tool to help parties and candidates to develop their strategies. However, this mock election has been correct in its predictions in the past, and, based on this previous accuracy, Sanders supporters might be getting what millions of Americans once thought was never possible: a president who is not enticed by money and truly aims to represent the people.
See the full results of the mock election below, courtesy of Western Illinois University.