Real competition? Mellark faces potentially potent candidates in race for reelection

President Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12) may have began his reelection campaign at the tip-top of the polls, looking like he might coast to reelection in the same way as his first run, but now the President faces a potentially different scenario.

President Mellark, while still remaining popular, is now officially facing a distinct possibility that three popular major candidates will rise from the primary battles waged in Panem’s opposition parties.

Currently the Centre nomination is set to go to Senator Julie Roydon, who has made a name for herself since her election in the previous midterms and proving that she is no political lightweight. Her crowds are regularly that of around 6,000 people at least, showing large support. Roydon consistently has polled highly in presidential polling, typically ranking second to the President.

In the Civic primary, Senator Patrick Newsom has risen to the top of the polls lately after his landmark debate performance against opponent Samuel Trenton. Newsom, to many Civic voters, represents a more activist wing of the party that has typically been pushed aside in favor of the more centrist establishment. Newsom has also been noted for his grassroots support. At this early point, it’s hard to tell if Newsom will be the nominee, but if the campaign continues like it has, it’s likely that Newsom will be able to pose a real threat to the President in a general election.

Last, but certainly not least, is former Governor Kaitlyn Jones. Known for her tenure as the last remaining Conservative governor in Panem, Jones was swept out on an anti-Conservative wave that even her popularity in her district could not save her from. However, Jones unexpectedly declared a run for president this year, despite most analysts predicting that at most she would run for vice president. More unexpected is the amount of support that Jones would garner in a general election. While she currently is third in Conservative primary polling, Jones polls higher in general election polling than her two rivals, typically even edging out Newsom and Roydon when included. This is likely due to her anonymity and due to her campaign to rebrand the party. Voters tend to associate the party with her rivals (Robert F. Maxwell and Kurtis Pierce) and both do not poll well due to their own scandals and relationship to disgraced former President Rick Canth.

However, a true nightmare scenario for President Mellark is if all three of these candidates managed to make it to a general election. True, the president is popular. However, the military intervention in Greece is causing a major dip in his approval numbers, decreasing them by the day. Panem voters when polled have indicated less and less support for the intervention as time has continued, and it’s highly unlikely that Mellark will be able to sustain a massive level of popularity for much longer, especially if the intervention lasts until election day. This is why this scenario is considered dangerous for the President: falling approval ratings along with the three strongest possible candidates could result in a nearly tied election as four candidates take around 20-25% of the vote each, along with potential for spoiler candidates from the Labor Party and independent candidates. In that case, it’s anyone’s guess who the president of Panem will be at the end of the day- and if the current President survives reelection.

However, the likelihood of such a nightmare scenario would be pretty low as of today. Just one part of the conditions that would cause it not occurring (say, Mellark pulls the troops out of Greece sooner rather than later) would likely result in a greater chance of a Mellark reelection, particularly if Jones or Newsom (or both!) lose their nomination fights.

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