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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Seniors simulate presidential election in government class

With the presidential election approaching, the U.S. government classes have been participating in a simulation of the presidential campaign.
The classes each have candidates for president and vice president for both political parties. They hold debates, campaign in various states and make news reports and ads. 
In Kirk Abe’s class, senior Sujay Khandekar has the role of the Republican presidential candidate.
“The simulation is actually a great interactive learning session,” he said. “Knowing how the whole process works definitely helps me better understand the entire process.”
In addition, other roles such as campaign and finance managers, spin doctors/press secretaries, vice presidential candidates, swing state representatives and the media are assigned to various students. 
“It tries to incorporate a lot of the real issues that go on in the campaign into the simulation,” said Abe.
These roles are all to help their respective candidate win the election. Senior Austin Chang acts in the role of the media in the election.
“I played the media and give people the news they need to be informed,” Chang said. “I’m supposed to be neutral and fair, but it’s hard.”
Khandekar agreed, saying, “I always have cameras following me and it’s pretty funny to see how they twist stories and use their footage.”
The simulation also helped the students to analyze the way the election process is held.
“In our simulation we only focus on swing states and neglect the rest of the states,” senior Caroline Chou said. “It seems like the rest of the people’s votes aren’t as important.”
Noticing the importance, Chou, who has the role of a financial manager, devised a campaign strategy.
“Tailoring the candidates’ interests to fit the interest of others, like the swing states would be beneficial,” Chou said.
 Chou said the most interesting aspect of the simulation was the amount of money spent in the election.
“Politics are expensive. Everything is so expensive, nationals ads cost $1 million in the simulation and probably is more in the real election,” she said. 
A lot of preparation is required in the simulation for the debates, just like in the actual election. It takes a lot of consultation with the campaign managers to ensure that no key issues are missed, Khandekar said.
“You could learn so much from reading about it, but you can learn a lot  more when you actually do it,” said Abe.
While the simulation is far from over, continuing on until the real presidential vote on Nov. 6, the students have already gained lots of knowledge of the election and its works. 
“It’s fun to dress up, campaign, and watch political ads,” said Khandekar. 
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