Donald Trump has a stronghold of support at Morrison School.
The presidential hopeful won a mock election there Tuesday, easily thumping Hillary Clinton.
Voting was conducted after a raucous assembly in the school gym where speeches were given by students portraying all four presidential candidates -- Trump, Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The crowd was tame for Johnson of the Libertarian Party and for Stein of the Green Party, but erupted during the other two speeches.
“We’ve been doing this for years and this was the rowdiest we’ve ever been,” said Morrison history teacher Teresa Prater who organized the mock election. “I guess it reflects the overall atmosphere.”
All students, teachers and parents at the assembly were allowed to vote. There were 428 votes cast.
Trump collected 247 votes, nearly 58 percent, to easily outdistance himself from Clinton, who received 166 votes, or nearly 39 percent. Johnson received 13 votes and Stein got 2.
Lindzey Hillis portrayed Hillary Clinton and touched on several of her campaign themes. She said she wanted to raise the minimum wage, eliminate corporate tax loopholes that allow large companies to pay less than middle-class families, and implement common-sense gun reform so terrorists can’t buy firearms with ease.
Will Hyder portrayed Donald Trump and said he wanted to take the White House back. He said he wanted to renegotiate NAFTA, stop China from stealing our jobs, and eliminate some of President Obama’s environmental mandates that are costly for businesses.
“This is such a teaching moment,” said Prater. “Students need to know they will soon be involved in this process and they need to know how it works. It’s important for our students to start getting involved now.”
The results are not surprising as Tennessee is not considered a battleground state in the presidential election. Trump is expected to win Republican-dominated Tennessee.
During a separate mock election at Hickory Creek Elementary, Trump was the winner with 267 votes, well ahead of Clinton with 163 votes.
Trump was also victorious in a statewide mock election overseen by Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. Students representing 479 schools from 90 of the state’s 95 counties participated. In all, 165,968 students voted.
Trump finished with 88,208 votes, or 53.1 percent. Clinton finished with 56,935 votes, or 34.3 percent.
“I'm thrilled so many students and teachers from across our great state got behind this project with such passion,” said Hargett. “Hopefully giving civics such an important role in the classroom translates into engaged citizens who continue exercising their right to vote when they are old enough to vote in real elections.”