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Obama Leads Romney in NKU Mock Election


More than 500 faculty, students and staff have voted in the Northern Kentucky University 2012 “iVote” mock presidential election. The online straw poll opened for voting last month and will remain open until Election Day, Nov. 6. Any NKU student, faculty or staff member is encouraged to vote.

In the initial voting, Democrat Barack Obama is leading Republican Mitt Romney, 59 percent to 34 percent.

In addition to the presidential ballot, the poll also allows voters to identify which issues and attributes matter most to them. So far, those who voted for Obama chose education and unemployment as the top two issues influencing their candidate choice. They chose leadership and integrity as the attributes they most value. Those who voted for Romney chose unemployment and the federal deficit as the top two issues. They chose conservative values and experience in private business as the top two candidate attributes.

“The online election is part of an effort on campus to remind everyone this is an election year, and that it is important to vote on Nov 6. The site includes some voter education components as well as the mock election,” said Mark Neikirk, executive director of NKU’s Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, which co-sponsors iVote with the NKU College of Informatics. Upon entering the site, visitors are offered information about each candidate and about the issues in the campaign. Key dates leading up to Election Day, including the last day for Kentucky voter registration (Oct. 9), also are on the site.

The web address is

iVote allows viewers to see, in real time, how the NKU community is voting. It also provides viewers with the ability to mine data by clicking on the result bars. For example, if you click the bar for Romney and then next on the bar for freshmen who voted for him, you will see that 60 percent of the voters are male. But among seniors, the gender split is even. If you follow that same path for Obama voters, you will see that on only 30 percent of his freshmen voters are male while among seniors, males account for 57 percent of Obama’s vote.

The mock election is one of several initiatives at NKU this year to focus attention on the 2012 election. NKU hosted a community debate watch in the College of Informatics George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium for the first presidential debate this week, drawing about 150 people.

Students and the community are invited back to the digitorium next Thursday, Oct. 11, to watch the vice presidential debate live from Danville, Ky. The doors open at 8 p.m. and the debate begins at 9 p.m. The event is interactive, with live polling by text message and a live Twitter commentary.

Also, on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m., Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes will speak on Kentucky’s civic health in the University Center Otto Budig Theater. Secretary Grimes is the state’s top election official.

On Oct. 23, the university will host a campus forum for candidates for Highland Heights city council at 5:30 p.m. in the Votruba Student Union Ballroom. The next night, NKU will host the second northern Kentucky general assembly and congressional forum from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Votruba Student Union Ballroom. It will feature House District 61 candidates Brian Linder (R) and Wanda Crupper Hammons (D), House District 78 candidates Thomas McKee (D) and Bryan Lutz (R) and 4th Congressional District candidate William (Bill) Adkins (D).

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