INAUGURATION DAY: President Mellark, Vice President Tarson sworn in for second term

Today marked the second inauguration of Panem’s fifth president, Peeta Mellark (Liberty Party-District 12), and Panem’s sixth vice president, Rebecca Tarson (Liberty Party-District 12). The pair were reelected in the closest federal elections in Panem history. Below are some notable results from this past election:


  • President: Peeta Mellark. Mellark was reelected as president in a tight election that required the nation’s first federal runoff election for the presidency. Mellark received 51 electoral votes in the first round, which was 18 short of the 69 needed to achieve an outright win, and 34.23 percent of the popular vote. In the second round, Mellark narrowly achieved an outright win over former Gov. Kaitlyn Jones, the Conservative nominee, with exactly 69 electoral votes to Jones’ 67. The popular vote percentage for the final round was 52.02 percent Mellark to 47.98 percent Jones.
  • Vice President: Rebecca Tarson. Tarson was reelected as vice president in an even tighter election than the President’s, requiring a federal runoff election that resulted in an electoral vote tie that had to be broken by determination of the popular vote winner. Tarson received 61 electoral votes in the first round, which was 8 short of the 69 needed to achieve an outright majority in the first round, and 36 percent of the popular vote. In the second round, Tarson tied the electoral college with Centre nominee Rep. Matthias Christian, which required a determination of the winner by popular vote. As the final results reflected a lead for Tarson of 51.58 percent to Christian’s 48.42 percent, Tarson was reelected vice president.
  • In the districtwide elections, four governorships, three lieutenant governorships, and two district legislatures flipped parties, with the following elected this election:
    • Governors: Cooper McPharlin (Conservative-D1), Donald Beck (Centre-D6), Glenn Beckham (Conservative-D7), Dillan Christian (Centre-D10)
    • Lt. Governors: Haywood Jackson (Conservative-D1), Lydia Rome (Conservative-D7), Cyrus Westley (Centre-D10)
    • District Legislatures: District 1 Legislature (Liberty –> Conservative), District 10 Legislature (Liberty –> Centre)
  • In the race for control of the House, the composition of the Panem House of Representatives now is 96 Liberty members, 54 Centre members, 25 Conservative members, 18 Labor members, 6 Civic members, and 1 independent member who will caucus with Liberty. Liberty has lost the majority in the House, but has formed a leadership coalition with the Conservative Party in order to maintain control of the chamber. The leaders of each party in the House are;
    • Presumptive Speaker of the House of Representatives: Constantin Richelieu (Liberty-D14)
    • House Majority Leader (thus, Liberty Party leader): Miranda O’Neal (Liberty-D13)
    • House Majority Whip (thus, Conservative Party leader): Kari Lyles (Conservative-D10)
    • Leader of the Opposition (thus, Centre Party leader): Daniel Hutton (Centre-D15)
    • Labor leader: Teraton Wendle (D2)
    • Civic leader: Georgia Landon (D13)
  • Following the resignation of D7 Governor Mason Wallace, Patty Newsom became governor of District 7 until the inauguration of Glenn Beckham.
  • If the nominations of President-elect Mellark are confirmed, the following will become governor:
    • Harriet Myers, District 12
    • Marshall Risinger, District 15

Vice President-elect Rebecca Tarson (Liberty-D12) arrived first, as tradition holds, coming in her motorcade from 1 Corsican Circle, the official residence of the Vice President. Also in the motorcade was Second Gentleman Nathaniel Tarson. Vice President-elect Tarson ascended the steps of the Capitol towards the center dais, where she would be inaugurated. For the first time in Panem’s history, the oath of office was delivered to a federal official by a female justice. Chief Justice Francine Ashland Brewster administered the oath of office to the Vice President-elect, making her formally Vice President once again.

Due to a technicality in the Panem Constitution, the Vice President-elect always is sworn in prior to the presidential inauguration. This is due to the possible circumstance of the president’s death prior to the vice presidential inauguration, which would hence cause a constitutional crisis. Therefore, upon inauguration, the Vice President becomes Acting President for at least two hours until the presidential inauguration.

And thus, Vice President-elect Tarson became Vice President and acting President Tarson.

The president-elect’s motorcade left Stonehaven (also known as the White House or the Presidential Mansion) for the inauguration. In the motorcade were President-elect Peeta Mellark, former President and First Lady Katniss Everdeen, and their child, Delia Mellark. The three exited the motorcade and moved into the Capitol, where they began the traditional walk through the Capitol to the outer steps for the inauguration.

President-elect Mellark and First Lady Everdeen once again reprised their positions in one of the most famous images in political history; two presidents, walking together to the inauguration of one. This time, however, Delia Mellark was present. At the top of the steps waiting was Chief Justice Francine Ashland Brewster. She represented the starkest difference in the presidential backdrop of the inauguration, but also represented one of Mellark’s key accomplishments. Once Ashland Brewster administered the oath, the crowd ruptured with applause.

Following his oath, President Peeta Mellark came to the podium to deliver his inaugural address:

“Four years ago, we embarked on a journey that was destined to be long and treacherous. We faced a devastating economy, a dangerous world, and a crumbling country. I promised to you four years ago on these very steps that we would return to being a guiding light for the world to follow, that we would end the discord in our country and bring about harmony, faith, and hope. I pray that these goals have been at least partially accomplished during my first term. Together, we accomplished more than we ever thought possible, and now it is time to move towards a grander and greater second term. As we have restored the light to our nation, we now must lead the world. We cannot sit by idly and allow for global disruption. We must act for freedom, for our shared ideals. We must decisively act to ensure the fundamental justice we know here in Panem is shown to all of mankind. We have a duty to the rest of the world to prove that Panem is willing to step up to the job and lead this wonderful world.” — President Peeta Mellark (Liberty Party-District 12)

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RUNOFFS: First executive election runoffs to pit Mellark/Tarson against Jones and Christian

It’s been a month since the general election in which President Peeta Mellark and Vice President Rebecca Tarson were forced into runoffs with former Governor Kaitlyn Jones of the Conservative Party and Representative Matthias Christian of the Centre Party, respectively.

In order to win the election, a candidate must win 69 electoral votes. Should each candidate tie at 68 electoral votes, the popular vote winner will be the victor.

Below are our predictions of the districts.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Lean Jones/Lean Tarson

District 2: 10 electoral votes – Likely Mellark/Likely Tarson

District 3: 8 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup

District 5: 3 electoral votes – Tilt Jones/Likely Tarson

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Tossup/Tilt Christian

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Tossup/Tilt Tarson

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Lean Mellark/Tilt Christian

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Likely Mellark/Lean Tarson

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Lean Mellark/Safe Christian

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Safe Jones/Tossup

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Safe Mellark/Safe Tarson

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Safe Mellark/Safe Tarson

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Safe Mellark/Safe Tarson

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Tilt Jones/Lean Christian

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Tilt Jones/Lean Christian

Overall Safe/Likely:

Mellark – 51 (Liberty), Jones – 8 (Conservative)

Tarson – 51 (Liberty), Christian – 8 (Centre)

With Leans:

Mellark – 69 (Liberty), Jones – 19 (Conservative)

Tarson – 65 (Liberty), Christian – 18 (Centre)

With Tilts:

Mellark – 69 (Liberty), Jones – 32 (Conservative)

Tarson – 72 (Liberty), Christian – 36 (Centre)

TOSSUP (PRESIDENT) – 35

TOSSUP (VP) – 28

If our predictions hold correct, President Mellark and Vice President Tarson should be able to win reelection tonight without having to win a single tossup district.

UPDATE 1: We can now make our first calls.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Jones carries with 56%. Too close to call (Tarson 52%, Christian 48%)

District 2: 10 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 60%. Tarson carries with 56%.

District 3: 8 electoral votes – Too close to call (Jones 51%, Mellark 49%), Christian carries with 59%.

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Too close to call (Jones 52%, Mellark 48%), Too close to call (Christian 50%, Tarson 50%)

District 5: 3 electoral votes – Jones carries with 54%. Too close to call (Tarson 53%, Christian 47%)

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Too close to call (50.5% Jones, 49.5% Mellark), Christian carries with 55%.

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 14 EVs

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 10 EVs

 

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

 

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 13 EVs

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 10 EVs


UPDATE 2: We can now call more districts.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Too close to call (Tarson 50.3%, Christian 49.7%)

District 3: 8 electoral votes – Jones carries with 54%.

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Too close to call (Jones 51%, Mellark 49%), Too close to call (Christian 52%, Tarson 48%)

District 5: 3 electoral votes – Christian carries with 51%.

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Too close to call (52% Jones, 48% Mellark)

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Too close to call (53% Jones, 47% Mellark), Tarson carries with 54%.

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 53%, Too close to call (Christian 51%, Tarson 49%)

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 61%, Tarson carries with 55%.

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 56%, Christian carries with 65%.

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 31 EVs

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 22 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 24 EVs

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 20 EVs


UPDATE 3: We can now call more districts.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Too close to call (Tarson 50.3%, Christian 49.7%)

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Jones carries with 51.4%, Christian carries with 52.3%.

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Jones carries with 51%.

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Jones carries with 54%.

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Too close to call (Christian 50.8%, Tarson 49.2%)

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Jones carries with 81%, Too close to call (Tarson 52%, Christian 48%)

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 94%, Tarson carries with 94%.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 60%, Tarson carries with 63%.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 54 EVs

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 49 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 38 EVs

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 36 EVs


UPDATE 4: We can now call more districts.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Christian carries with 50.4%.

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Tarson carries with 50.7%.

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Too close to call (Christian 50.3%, Tarson 49.7%)

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 64%, Tarson carries with 60%.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Jones carries with 56%, Christian carries with 59%.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Jones carries with 55%, Christian carries with 61%.

We can now call the presidential runoff election for Peeta Mellark. President Mellark has been re-elected, albeit narrowly, to a second term over former Governor Kaitlyn Jones of District 11.

Meanwhile, in the vice presidential runoff election, a make-or-break moment has emerged for both candidates. If Tarson wins District 11 as we predicted her to, Tarson will officially win reelection. If Christian manages to upset Tarson- which is a very real possibility- then it will come down to the popular vote winner.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 69 EVs

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 67 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 68 EVs

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 60 EVs


UPDATE 5: We can now officially call District 11 and report final popular votes, and thus the vice presidential election.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Christian carries with 50.1%.

The electoral college officially ties with Matthias Christian’s win in District 11. In accordance with the Second Amendment to the Panem Constitution, the winner of the election is whichever candidate wins the popular vote. This means we can officially call the vice presidential runoff election for Rebecca Tarson. Vice President Rebecca Tarson has been reelected to a second term in an election that even beat out President Mellark’s extremely narrow win tonight in terms of closeness.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 69 EVs, 52.02% PV ✓

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 67 EVs, 47.98% PV

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 68 EVs, 51.58% PV ✓

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 68 EVs, 48.42% PV


ANALYSIS: What an incredibly close set of races. It’s certainly indicative of just how antagonistic this political climate is against the Liberty Party; however, today, things were a little sunnier for the Liberty ticket as they prevailed against their opponents (in extremely narrow races, however.) For the first time ever, in our first runoff ever, we witnessed an electoral college tie that had to be broken using the Second Amendment. The bad part for Matthias Christian in this race is the fact that due to Vice President Tarson running up her numbers in safe Liberty districts (specifically Districts 13 and 14), Tarson clearly won the popular vote outright and would have even if she had lost the electoral college. In fact, the margin was 3.16 percent between the two; as such, there’s certainly no way for him to ask for a recount in an attempt to flip the results. This is certainly not like the election that propelled Rick Canth into office, which means that the new system is working.

Now, we will ponder two different questions. First, with such a divided House, how will Liberty govern? Yes, Liberty still technically holds the Presidency, the Senate, and likely the House through a coalition, but the party is certainly weakened by these results. The party will need to do some real soul-searching in the days to come as Liberty did not fare well this election.

Second, what will become of Kaitlyn Jones and Matthias Christian? We will likely hear a vague answer on this tonight, but it becomes a real question. If the two plan to run for something in the future, how will they remain relevant and not become the has-been nominees next time around? Panem’s political parties have a bad habit of diminishing their integrity in the eyes of the voters by renominating people when they didn’t perform up to standards last time around and planned to change nothing the next time around. There’s one main difference here, however: Jones and Christian both nearly won. With Paylor, Trenton, Ren, Delta, etc., they all were very unsuccessful at getting remotely close to a win. The only two-time candidate to run and successfully win was Rick Canth, and his scenario is far closer to Jones’ and Christian’s than the two are to Paylor and company.

UPDATE 6: President Mellark and Vice President Tarson appeared together at their victory rally in the Capitol.

“Against the odds, we have prevailed. Governor Jones just called me and Representative Christian just called Rebecca to concede their respective elections. We thank both of them for spirited campaigns that brought the most important issues in our country to the forefront. Now, we are on for another four years. Four more years to fix our education system, to ensure Panem’s safety from enemies abroad, and to continue the largest economic growth in Panem’s history. It’s time to get to work, but one thing is for sure: it’s morning in Panem again.” — President Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12)

Former Governor Kaitlyn Jones addressed a deeply disappointed crowd in District 11:

“I called President-elect Mellark about five minutes ago to wish him congratulations on his reelection as President. I am most proud of our race for the presidency on the pure fact that President Mellark and I have never grown spiteful towards one another and in fact we are quite friendly towards each other. Despite our differences, I offer him my help if he ever should need it and thank him for a truly successful election cycle. My friends, I understand your disappointment. Trust me, I am very well aware of it. However, we are not done. The Conservative vision will continue to move forward in Congress. We will continue to spread conservatism throughout our nation. We will decrease the size of government, and we will make sure Panem’s citizens are freer than ever before. This won’t be the end, and this won’t be the last you see of me.” — former Governor Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative-D11)

Representative Matthias Christian (Centre-D10) spoke to his supporters in his home district:

“Everyone, please calm. I decided moments ago to call and concede this election to Vice President Tarson. Yes, I know; yes, it’s tough to understand. I wanted to contest the results too, but the margin is clear: I lost this election. However, Vice President Tarson will serve this nation as she has before: with integrity and valor. She has my support as she goes into her second term. One thing that we should all take heart in is the fact that Centre is larger than ever before. Our ranks have grown stronger in Congress, and we have made headway in our districts. Our vision works, and Panem is seeing that. It’s time to get to work to make Panem its very best.” — Representative Matthias Christian (Centre-D10)

Senators Patrick Newsom and Iris Canstrom decline to endorse in executive runoffs

Senator Patrick Newsom (Civic-D3), the Civic nominee for president, and Senator Iris Canstrom (Labor-D9), the Labor nominee for president, both declined to endorse any candidate for president or vice president in the upcoming runoff elections.

Newsom and Canstrom were both defeated in the first round of executive elections held three days ago, amounting to a combined 16.2 percent of the vote. The pair underwhelmed in the elections following much fervor around the two earlier in the cycle. The two standard-bearers of the left-wing Panem political parties not endorsing either candidate in either election is hardly a surprise, however, as Panem’s conservative wing was the true winner of the elections three days ago. Of the second round contestants, only Matthias Christian of the Centre Party is remotely close to the center of Panem politics, and even he leans further to the right than to the left.

The two nominees’ decision to not endorse and instead allow each person to “make their own decision based on their conscience” is not expected to have a drastic effect on any candidate’s campaign, but rather on turnout.

What To Expect From An Unpredictable Runoff

It’s official: Panem will experience its first general runoff election for both president and vice president. President Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12) will face former Governor Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative-D11) while Vice President Rebecca Tarson (Liberty-D12) will face Representative Matthias Christian (Centre-D10).

The main question in this situation is what the heck happens now.

Whenever we covered what could happen following the presidential debate, the majority of analysts were looking to either a Liberty/Centre runoff across the board, a Liberty/Conservative runoff across the board, or an outright Liberty win. While the latter nearly occurred for Tarson, none of the above actually happened. Instead, voters will get a chance to vote in an election that is Liberty/Conservative and Liberty/Centre.

This leads to many variables changing that weren’t previously discussed. Below, we will detail some of the potential outcomes.

PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF:

  • Civic/Labor endorses Mellark or Jones: Highly unlikely, but always possible. If this happens, it’s likely a lackluster endorsement that doesn’t lead to much, but in a close scenario, it could push a candidate over the top.
  • Centre endorses Mellark: Centre endorsing anyone wasn’t a thought that had crossed people’s minds until Jones won because people assumed that Roydon had a greater chance of winning. Now that we are here, there’s a 50-50 chance that Centre endorses Mellark. If that happens, Mellark gets a major boost that is likely to propel him to reelection. However, it should be noted that it might be counterproductive for Centre to endorse Mellark but seek to get rid of Tarson, which may prevent an endorsement.
  • Centre endorses Jones: Jones automatically has an uphill slope in a runoff. Liberty voters are consistent voters, and they don’t typically miss a chance to vote in elections- hence why there’s so many Liberty officeholders. However, if Centre endorses Jones, that will invigorate the Conservative base and ensure higher turnout for Jones, leading to a potential Jones victory.

VICE PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF:

  • Civic/Labor endorses Tarson: Highly unlikely, but always possible. If this happens, it’s likely a lackluster endorsement that doesn’t lead to much, but in a close scenario, it could push Tarson over the top.
  • Civic/Labor endorses Christian: Much more likely than the previous option. If the two left-wing parties have decided that Christian is much more preferable to Tarson, then it’s always possible that they seek to assist Christian. However, it’s worth noting that Christian is more right-wing than left-wing, and that could prevent an endorsement.
  • Conservative Party endorses Mellark: This is a very possible scenario, given the ideological similarity between the two parties. If this occurs, the election will likely go to Tarson. The only issue: the Conservatives are waging war against Liberty up the ballot.
  • Conservative Party endorses Christian: As mentioned previously, Christian comes from the right wing of the Centre Party. While certainly not as right-wing as a member of the Liberty or Conservative Parties, the Conservatives could find him acceptable enough to support, pushing him over the top.

ELECTION DAY: Fifth presidential election predicted to be closest in modern history, may result in runoff

Panem is set to vote in its fifth regularly scheduled executive and congressional election cycle, which sees two high profile races for President and Vice President while the left wing of Panem politics is seeking to make a big impact in the House of Representatives this cycle. Also included on the ballot today are multiple districtwide elections that could result in a greater impact.


Here are our predictions for the executive elections this year.


Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup 

District 2: 10 electoral votes – Lean Liberty/Tilt Liberty

District 3: 8 electoral votes – Lean Civic/Lean Civic

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup

District 5: 3 electoral votes – Tilt Conservative/Tilt Conservative

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Tossup/Tilt Civic

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Tilt Conservative/Tossup

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Tilt Centre/Tilt Centre

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Tilt Liberty/Lean Liberty

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Lean Liberty/Lean Centre

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Lean Conservative/Tossup

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Safe Liberty/Safe Liberty

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Safe Liberty/Safe Liberty

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Safe Liberty/Safe Liberty

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Tossup/Tossup

Overall Safe/Likely:

Mellark – 38, Tarson – 38 (Liberty)

Roydon – 0, Christian – 0 (Centre)

Canstrom – 0, Walters – 0 (Labor)

Newsom – 0, Kennedy – 0 (Civic)

Jones – 0, Sutherland – 0 (Conservative)

With Leans:

Mellark – 56, Tarson – 41 (Liberty)

Newsom – 8, Kennedy – 8 (Civic)

Jones – 8, Sutherland – 0 (Conservative)

Roydon – 0, Christian – 8 (Centre)

Canstrom – 0, Walters – 0 (Labor)

With Tilts:

Mellark – 59, Tarson – 51 (Liberty)

Jones – 18, Sutherland – 3 (Conservative)

Roydon – 10, Christian – 18 (Centre)

Newsom – 8, Kennedy – 13 (Civic)

Canstrom – 0, Walters – 0 (Labor)

TOSSUP (PRESIDENT) – 41

TOSSUP (VP) – 51

 


In the gubernatorial elections, we predict the following:


District 1: Governor Zane Tempore (Liberty) faces a tough national climate and a fierce competition against district senator Shannon Barker (Labor)activist Cooper McPharlin (Conservative), and representative Adrianne Horsfall (Centre).

District 6: Governor Festus Ashland (Liberty) is expected to have a tighter-than-expected race against Centre nominee Rep. Donald Beck, Labor nominee Rep. Haylie Shepard, and Conservative nominee district representative Annise Byrd.

District 7: Governor Mason Wallace (Liberty) is expected to win here despite the national tossup status of his district in the executive elections. He faces Conservative actor Glenn Beckham and Labor district senator Connor Howe.

District 9: Governor Trenton Escavel (Liberty) faces off here against Civic nominee Sawyer Coburn and Labor nominee Rep. Carson Delaney. Due to the left-wing split, it’s expected that Escavel will coast to victory.

District 10: Governor Xavier Hansen (Liberty) faces off against Labor nominee Suzanne Reed and Centre nominee Rep. Dillan Christian, who is the brother of Centre VP nominee Matthias Christian, in a marquee tossup race.

District 11: Governor Vance Fletcher (Liberty) faces serious opposition in former Secretary of Global Development Jack Oliver (Conservative)district representative Ashton North (Labor), district senator David Carson (Centre), and businessman Walter Rigby (Civic) . Due to the high amount of candidates, the race is a true tossup. It is also the only districtwide election in which every party is represented this cycle.


In the Congressional elections, we predict the following:

The composition we expect is 90 seats for the Liberty Party, 52 seats for the Centre Party (making them the official opposition), 20 seats for the Labor Party, 12 seats for the Conservative Party, 6 seats for the Civic Party, and 1 seat for an independent representative that will caucus with the Liberty Party. As of right now, we have no way to predict the outcomes of 34 seats; they are all true tossups. This means that in order for either side to gain power, they will need to secure their majority with the remaining 19 seats. As shown above, Liberty’s amount of seats matches exactly the number of seats of other parties. Liberty must secure 101 seats to have an outright majority, meaning to do so, they will need at least ten tossup seats along with the predicted independent seat. For the opposition to finally become the majority, it is a much more daunting task; it would require the other four parties to coalesce in a grand coalition and then win ten more seats across them. While gaining a majority of seats for the other four parties together is a easier task for them than for the Liberty Party, it’s very unlikely that the Conservatives would ever enter a leadership deal with Labor or Civic. It’s much more likely that Liberty will strike a deal with the Conservatives in order to keep their grasp on power. Our official prediction: Liberty will remain in control through a coalition with the Conservatives and a single independent representative.


Here’s an overview of the main events of President Mellark’s first term and the current election cycle.

  • President Peeta Mellark became the first presidential spouse to be elected president as well as the first senator to ascend to the presidency directly from the upper chamber of Congress.
  • President Mellark and Vice President Rebecca Tarson were swept into office on a massive Liberty Party wave following massive corruption in the Canth administration and Conservative Party.
  • Chief Justice Sean Wheeler announced his retirement and President Mellark nominated Associate Justice Francine Ashland Brewster to serve as the second Chief Justice. She was confirmed by the Senate.
  • To replace Brewster as Associate Justice, President Mellark nominated Governor Cynthia Thompson, who was confirmed by the Senate.
  • President Mellark lays out his 100-day plan, which included measures to expand economic growth, reform Panem education, and protect Panem citizens from the Oceanian Empire.
  • The Labor and Civic Parties formed the Red-Green Coalition in the Panem Congress in order to consolidate the left wing of Panem’s legislators.
  • President Mellark is shot by an assassin in the Capitol, making Vice President Tarson the acting president of Panem. The Oceanian Empire took credit for the attempt on Mellark’s life.
  • Following his recovery, President Mellark returned to active duty as president and formally requested from Congress a declaration of war against the Oceanian Empire. Congress voted to approve the war.
  • An allied coalition conducted a large-scale invasion of Oceania to neuter the OE threat, causing Oceania to suspend foreign relations with Panem.
  • President Mellark’s tax cuts and tax reform plan becomes law, completing a key promise.
  • Press Secretary Polaris Septrix retires and is replaced by Melanie DeFrancis.
  • First Lady Katniss Everdeen gave birth to her first child, Delia.
  • President Mellark made his first foreign trip to wartorn Oceania to visit the troops in the region and to speak with Oceanian officials.
  • Vice President Tarson cast her first tie-breaker vote in the Senate over a bill dealing with a no-fly list. The bill passed 17-16 with Tarson’s vote, and was then signed by the President.
  • Following chief of staff Harold Cersisa’s decision to run for governor of District 4, press secretary Melanie DeFrancis becomes President Mellark’s chief of staff. She is replaced as press secretary by Janet Wesson.
  • Cecelia Paylor declined to run for president again, opening up the Civic primary.
  • Senator Patrick Newsom declared his run for the presidency while former Senator Sadie Myers and Governor Bertram Spellings both declined to run.
  • Former Governor Felicia Ren declined to run for president again, opening the field for the Labor Party.
  • Labor Representative Sylvenia Denton filibustered President Mellark’s education bill in a controversial speech. She then attended a gala days later and spat on President Mellark and First Lady Katniss Everdeen. Denton was later censured for her actions.
  • Former Civic VP nominee Samuel Trenton announced his run for the presidency.
  • British Prime Minister Edith Felton, a Conservative, became the first foreign dignitary to visit the nation of Panem.
  • President Mellark nominated his Solicitor General, Sherri Holmes, to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She was later confirmed by the Senate. Holmes was replaced by D7 Attorney General Jacqueline Warner.
  • President Mellark and Vice President Tarson jointly announced their runs for reelection.
  • Former Secretaries Joan Kindred and Walter Delta, Senator Iris Canstrom, and controversial Representative Sylvenia Denton all enter the Labor primary for president.
  • Ambassador to the Council of Nations Elizabeth Steinbeck declined another run for president and endorsed President Mellark.
  • The Grecorussian Civil War begins with Greece declaring its independence.
  • Robert F. Maxwell, Kurtis Pierce, and Kaitlyn Jones announce their intention to run for the Conservative nomination for president. Lynn Germaine, Jack Oliver, and Delia Sutherland announced their runs for vice president.
  • Thomas Stemp, Ophelie Murray, and Teraton Wendle all announced their runs for the Labor VP nomination.
  • Malcolm Lowell, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, dies aged 83. President Mellark first offers the nomination to Solicitor General Jacqueline Warner, who declines. The President then nominates Alexandra West, the attorney general, who is then confirmed by the Senate.
  • Alexandra West is replaced as Attorney General by Senator Calvin Wilkie, who is also approved by the Senate. Governor Mason Wallace of District 7 then appoints Solicitor General Jacqueline Warner to the Senate.
  • Former Attorney General Karina Erickson, after much lobbying, accepts the President’s nomination to serve as Solicitor General. She is approved by the Senate.
  • Grecorussian nuclear weapons are reported missing. This prompts President Mellark to seek permission from Congress to intervene in Greece, which Congress approves.
  • Senator Julie Roydon announces her run for the Centre Party nomination for president. Roydon became the presumptive nominee as she remained unopposed.
  • Greek rebels threaten the Grecorussian Empire with “nuclear destruction”.
  • The first day of Panem’s involvement in Greece leaves 23 Panem soldiers dead.
  • Antonin Dupond becomes the next president of France in a tight election.
  • The Civic presidential debate sets a record for primary debate viewership.
  • A spat between Robert F. Maxwell and Kurtis Pierce causes the cancellation of the sole Conservative presidential debate. In response, former Governor Kaitlyn Jones skyrockets in popularity following her successful interview in place of the debate.
  • President Mellark announces the withdrawal of troops from Greece following the retrieval of lost nuclear weapons.
  • The primaries of the Labor, Civic, and Conservative Parties occur, resulting in the nomination of Iris Canstrom for president for the Labor Party, Patrick Newsom for president for the Civic Party, Kaitlyn Jones for president for the Conservative Party, and Delia Sutherland for vice president for the Conservative Party. The Labor nomination for vice president is inconclusive and is determined to go to an unbound balloting process at the Labor National Convention.
  • Centre nominee Julie Roydon announces D10 Representative Matthias Christian as her vice presidential running mate. The two are nominated at the Centre National Convention.
  • Conservative nominee Kaitlyn Jones declined the endorsements of former President Rick Canth and previous VP nominee Jackson Canth and declared them to be “persona non grata” in the Conservative Party.
  • President Mellark and Vice President Tarson are nominated for a second term at the Liberty National Convention.
  • Senator Iris Canstrom officially becomes the Labor nominee for president while Senator Jace Walters becomes the surprise nominee for vice president after multiple rounds of balloting.
  • Civic nominee Patrick Newsom selects Senator Quentin Kennedy as his vice presidential running mate. The pair are nominated at the Civic National Convention.
  • Former governor Kaitlyn Jones and former secretary Delia Sutherland are officially nominated as the executive candidate ticket of the Conservative Party at the Conservative National Convention.
  • President Mellark and Vice President Tarson suspend campaigning to deal with Hurricane Amelia, the most catastrophic natural disaster to affect Panem in a century. An aid package is approved for affected areas.
  • The vice presidential debate was ruled to be a win for Vice President Tarson and Centre nominee Matthias Christian.
  • The presidential debate was a landslide win for President Mellark, with Centre nominee Julie Roydon and Conservative nominee Kaitlyn Jones also scoring high marks.
  • Former independent VP candidate and political pundit Pauline Crystal decides to endorse President Mellark and Vice President Tarson for a second term.

UPDATE: We have our first results of the night.

In the gubernatorial races, we can announce the following:

  • D1: With 34 percent in, Governor Zane Tempore is in third place behind Conservative activist Cooper McPharlin, who is in first, and Centre representative Adrianne Horsfall, who is in second. It is highly likely that this governorship will once again flip this cycle.
  • D6: Governor Festus Ashland is currently leading the field with 39 percent of the vote in, with Centre nominee Donald Beck close behind.
  • D7: Despite what was predicted, this election has officially become too close to call with 40 percent of the vote in. Governor Mason Wallace is currently leading Conservative actor Glenn Beckham by only half of a percentage point.
  • D9: Governor Trenton Escavel has been reelected what is predicted to be a twenty-point margin. Final margin was 51 percent Escavel, 25 percent Delaney, and 24 percent Coburn.
  • D10: Though this race was expected to be competitive, it appears that Governor Xavier Hansen will be looking for a new job in January as Representative Dillan Christian, the brother of Centre VP nominee Matthias Christian, has been elected governor. He is predicted to defeat Hansen by approximately four percentage points. Final margin was 39 percent Christian, 35 percent Hansen, and 26 percent Reed.
  • D11: In the most competitive race of the night, Centre nominee David Carson barely leads the field, with Governor Vance Fletcher right behind him.

We are not ready to project the House yet.

UPDATE 2: We can now project further gubernatorial races.

  • D1: Governor Zane Tempore will be replaced by Conservative activist Cooper McPharlin in January. Final margin was 40 percent McPharlin, 36 percent Horsfall, and 24 percent Tempore. Centre nominee Horsfall, however, will return to the House due to her reelection. 
  • D6: Centre Representative Donald Beck has been elected governor in a squeaker over Governor Festus Ashland. Final margin was 29 percent Beck, 28 percent Ashland, 23 percent Byrd, and 20 percent Shepard.
  • D7: In an upset, Conservative actor Glenn Beckham has been elected governor over incumbent Mason Wallace. Final margin was 43 percent Beckham, 42 percent Wallace, and 15 percent Howe.
  • D11: Despite the competitiveness of the district, Governor Vance Fletcher beats the odds to remain governor of District 11. The final margin was 23 percent Fletcher, 22.5 percent Carson, 21.5 percent Oliver, 20 percent Rigby, and 13 percent North.

This brings the composition of governors to 11 Liberty governors, 2 Centre governors, and 2 Conservative governors.

The current House seat count lies at 91 Liberty, 52 Centre, 18 Labor, 6 Civic, 14 Conservative, 1 Independent, and 18 seats that are too close to call.

We can now begin our coverage of the presidential and VP elections.


Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Too close to call (32% Mellark, 31% Roydon, 27% Jones, 5% Canstrom, 5% Newsom), Too close to call (34% Tarson, 33% Sutherland, 27% Christian, 4% Walters, 2% Kennedy)

District 2: 10 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 36%. Too close to call (31% Tarson, 29% Sutherland, 28% Christian, 8% Kennedy, 4% Walters)

District 3: 8 electoral votes – Newsom carries with 39%. Kennedy carries with 34%.

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Too close to call (24% Mellark, 24% Roydon, 23% Jones, 17% Canstrom, 13% Newsom), Too close to call (25% Tarson, 25% Christian, 25% Jones, 15% Walters, 10% Kennedy)

District 5: 3 electoral votes – Jones carries with 32%Sutherland carries with 33%.

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Too close to call (28% Jones, 26% Mellark, 26% Roydon, 12% Newsom, 8% Canstrom), Too close to call (27% Christian, 27% Tarson, 25% Sutherland, 15% Kennedy, 6% Walters)

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 10 EVs

Patrick Newsom (Civic) – 8 EVs

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 3 EVs

Iris Canstrom (Labor) – 0 EVs

Julie Roydon (Centre) – 0 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Quentin Kennedy (Civic) – 8 EVs

Delia Sutherland (Conservative) – 3 EVs

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 0 EVs

Jace Walters (Labor) – 0 EVs

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 0 EVs

UPDATE 3: We can now call more districts in the executive elections.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 1: 11 electoral votes – Jones carries with 33%, Sutherland carries with 32%.

District 2: 10 electoral votes – Sutherland carries with 31%.

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Too close to call (24% Mellark, 24% Roydon, 23% Jones, 15% Canstrom, 15% Newsom), Too close to call (26% Tarson, 25% Christian, 25% Jones, 14% Walters, 10% Kennedy)

District 6: 5 electoral votes – Jones carries with 29%. Christian carries with 26%.

District 7: 7 electoral votes – Jones carries with 30%Sutherland carries with 29%

District 8: 10 electoral votes – Roydon carries with 30%. Christian carries with 29%.

District 9: 3 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 37%. Tarson carries with 34%.

District 10: 8 electoral votes – Roydon carries with 29%. Christian carries with 34%.

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 26 EVs

Julie Roydon (Centre) – 18 EVs

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 13 EVs

Patrick Newsom (Civic) – 8 EVs

Iris Canstrom (Labor) – 0 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Delia Sutherland (Conservative) – 31 EVs

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 23 EVs

Quentin Kennedy (Civic) – 8 EVs

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 3 EVs

Jace Walters (Labor) – 0 EVs

We also have an update on the House elections. The composition of the House is now 94 Liberty, 54 Centre, 23 Conservative, 18 Labor, 6 Civic, 1 Independent, and 4 seats that are too close to call. We can now project that the Liberty Party will remain the largest party in the House, but will not be able to form an outright majority.

UPDATE 4: We can now call more districts in the executive elections.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 4: 12 electoral votes – Jones carries with 26%, Tarson carries with 26%. 

District 11: 8 electoral votes – Jones carries with 38%, Tarson carries with 34%.

District 12: 5 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 79%, Tarson carries with 78%.

District 13: 13 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 45%, Tarson carries with 40%.

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Too early to call.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Too early to call.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 46 EVs

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 31 EVs

Julie Roydon (Centre) – 18 EVs

Patrick Newsom (Civic) – 8 EVs

Iris Canstrom (Labor) – 0 EVs

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 41 EVs

Delia Sutherland (Conservative) – 31 EVs

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 23 EVs

Quentin Kennedy (Civic) – 8 EVs

Jace Walters (Labor) – 0 EVs

We also have a final update on the House elections. The composition of the House will be 96 Liberty, 54 Centre, 25 Conservative, 18 Labor, 6 Civic, and 1 Independent who will caucus with Liberty. This means that it will be up to Constantin Richelieu and his leadership team to come to an agreement with the Conservatives in order to govern. Otherwise, Liberty will be governing in a plurality where they will need to continuously pick off other party’s members to get legislation passed. Kari Lyles has expressed interest in governing with Liberty, however, on the condition that the two parties enter a deal that spreads power equally.

UPDATE 5: We can now call more districts in the executive elections.

Overall amount of electoral votes: 136 electoral votes

Amount needed to win the election (must have a majority): 69 electoral votes

District 14: 20 electoral votes – Mellark carries with 46%, Tarson carries with 44%.

District 15: 10 electoral votes – Roydon carries with 36%, Christian carries with 35%.

Capitol: 3 electoral votes – Roydon carries with 30%, Christian carries with 29%.

Current presidential EV tallies:

Peeta Mellark (Liberty) – 51 EVs, 34.23% PV

Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative) – 46 EVs, 29.55% PV

Julie Roydon (Centre) – 31 EVs, 20.02% PV

Patrick Newsom (Civic) – 8 EVs, 9.34% PV

Iris Canstrom (Labor) – 0 EVs, 6.86% PV

Current vice presidential EV tallies:

Rebecca Tarson (Liberty) – 61 EVs, 36.00% PV

Matthias Christian (Centre) – 36 EVs, 25.96% PV

Delia Sutherland (Conservative) – 31 EVs, 21.20% PV

Quentin Kennedy (Civic) – 8 EVs, 9.89% PV

Jace Walters (Labor) – 0 EVs, 6.95% PV

We can now officially say that both the presidential and vice presidential elections will be heading to a runoff. Next month, President Peeta Mellark will face off against former Governor Kaitlyn Jones for the presidency. Meanwhile, Vice President Rebecca Tarson will face off against Representative Matthias Christian for the vice presidency. 

ANALYSIS: Tonight was undoubtedly a blow for the Liberty Party. While they certainly gained momentum in the last weeks of the campaign, the President and Vice President couldn’t seal the deal outright and will campaign another month for the runoff election. It’s anyone’s guess how those elections will go; runoffs have never occurred before in a general election scenario, and it’s likely that it will be low turnout. It all depends on who shows up.

Meanwhile, Liberty suffered greatly down the ballot. Out of six districtwide elections, Liberty won two, the Conservatives gained two seats, and Centre picked up two seats. This is a massive electoral shift for the nation as four of the fifteen districts just moved away from Liberty governance. That makes a third of governors that now belong to a party other than Liberty, the highest in a very long time. And then comes the House of Representatives, where Liberty lost their majority today. While it appears that they will still be able to govern, it’s telling that the largest gains came for the Centre and Conservative Parties. The Conservatives now are able to serve as kingmakers, increasing their power after being forced into isolation last election.

UPDATE 5: Senator Patrick Newsom and Senator Iris Canstrom both conceded the election with their running mates.

“While this certainly is not the result we hoped for, we still have hope tonight for the nation of Panem. Nothing has changed about our people, about our resiliency, and our passion for justice and equality. In the coming days, we as leaders will make a decision on who we will support in this runoff. While we won’t be announcing tonight if we will make a public endorsement, you will all be the first to know if we do decide to do so. We congratulate President Mellark, Governor Jones, Vice President Tarson, and Representative Christian on a hard fought race and congratulate them on their advancement to the next round.” — Senator Patrick Newsom (Civic-D3) and Senator Quentin Kennedy (Civic-D6)

“It is our hope for Panem that each of you decides to keep making progress. We didn’t win tonight. That is true. However, that doesn’t mean that we stop pursuing our ideal nation. Each of us still has a chance to make an impact. We congratulate the President, the Vice President, Representative Christian, and Governor Jones on their wins tonight. We look forward to a competitive and productive runoff election that will properly suit the people of Panem.” — Senator Iris Canstrom (Labor-D9) and Senator Jace Walters (Labor-D10)

President Mellark and Vice President Tarson spoke at their victory rally in District 12:

“This is undoubtedly an exciting night. While we didn’t win outright, that doesn’t mean that we’ve lost. It means that we get yet another chance to bring our message to the citizens of Panem, to show that Liberty policies work for each of you, and that we are the best candidates for our jobs. It’s not over yet, my friends. The journey has scarcely begun. Let’s travel this path back to the White House together and continue making our nation great.” — President Peeta Mellark and Vice President Rebecca Tarson (both Liberty-D12)

Governor Jones and Representative Christian spoke at their victory rallies:

“What an amazing night this has been! I’m honored for each vote I have received and the chance to compete for so many more. When we began this campaign, the pundits announced that no Conservative candidate would ever be near the presidency for decades. They even said that Conservative candidates for Congress and for governorships stood no chance because of the scandals that we have endured! Let me announce something tonight: the reports of the Conservative Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Tonight, we saw twenty-five Conservative representatives sent to Congress and two new Conservative governors and lieutenant governors. And of course, I have been given the chance to go to the runoff for president of the Republic of Panem. Our momentum is only beginning.” — former Governor Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative-D11)

“Who would have thought that I would be standing here tonight? I would like to thank my wife, my children, and Senator Roydon for this incredible experience. I could not have done this without each and every one of you, and each and every voter that went out and voted for me. It is time that we return accountability to our government, and that is why each of us needs to head back to the ballot box in a month to ensure that we do just that. We have been given a unique chance to reform our government. Let’s not waste it.” — Representative Matthias Christian (Centre-D10)

Both Senator Roydon and Secretary Sutherland conceded over phone and spoke to a small gathering that did not include press coverage.

 

VP DEBATE: Tarson on defense as she faces challengers on all sides

The vice presidential debate, the first of two general election debates held this election season, was held last night in conjunction with the Panem Debate Council and The Panem Free Press.

Candidates that competed were required to meet standards set by the PDC, of which five candidates met the qualifications:

  • Vice President Rebecca Tarson (Liberty Party-District 12)
  • Senator Jace Walters (Labor Party-District 10)
  • Senator Quentin Kennedy (Civic Party-District 6)
  • Secretary Delia Sutherland (Conservative Party-District 4)
  • Representative Matthias Christian (Centre Party-District 10)

Topics of the vice presidential debate were separated into two sections: domestic policy and foreign policy. Questions were fielded from the audience in a townhall-style format moderated by Panem Free Press Capitol correspondent Carlton Beck. If a candidate’s name was invoked during another candidate’s response, the first candidate was allowed to respond.



Below are excerpts from the debate proceedings, based on subjects.



ON DOMESTIC POLICY:



Question: “Senator Kennedy, the nation of Panem is facing a serious morphling crisis, particularly in District 6. You have noted on the campaign trail that this crisis cannot stand, and that it must be dealt with immediately. What would be your solution to this drug epidemic?”

Senator Kennedy: “This crisis is abounding with no end in sight as it currently stands. The abuse of morphling destroys the lives of those who take it and those who are around them. Our best way to combat this, and the way that I championed recently in the Senate, is to limit physicians’ ability to prescribe such an addictive drug and to put oversight on the systems that distribute it. The majority of victims of morphling are not those who have been prescribed the drug. They are people who have suffered due to buying it on the black market.”



Question: “Secretary Sutherland, you have expressed discontent with the Mellark administration in regards to the size of the government. If you were elected vice president, what areas of the government would you champion to downsize?”

Secretary Sutherland: “It may be trendy to make new departments, but I don’t think it’s necessary. We have eighteen full-fledged departments, many of which cover small areas that could be covered by a larger overarching department. I would advocate to combine the Departments of Commerce and International Trade and the Departments of State and Global Development. This would not only downsize the size and scope of government, it would also save taxpayers millions.”



Question: “Senator Walters, do you believe that the federal government has done enough in regards to regulation of certain industries, such as the energy sector?”

Senator Walters: “I do not. The past two administrations have done absolutely nothing to protect industrial workers. We’ve seen coal miners and transportation workers engage in unsafe working environments, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Coriolanus Snow was ruling over Panem. It’s rather sickening to watch, considering that President Mellark and Vice President Tarson both are from District 12 and both dealt with the coal industry their entire lives. They should be concerned for the safety of these workers, and as vice president, I would look to help impose more stringent regulations on dangerous industries such as these to ensure that citizens are safer.”

Tarson’s response: “You’re right, Senator; I have lived around the coal industry my entire life. District 12 is undoubtedly the largest coal district in Panem, and we are proud of it. However, District 12 is also aware that by putting these regulations on them, that you are not making them any safer. Instead of being able to make a living, these workers are now out of a job because the coal mines can’t afford to employ them. While I appreciate your enthusiasm to make sure coal miners and all workers are safer, perhaps you should get to know a few of them first before making them political pawns. These workers know best, and they want to work.”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, your opponents have openly criticized you for your support of a tax cut for corporations, as signed into law by the President in his tax bill earlier in his term. What is the rationale for such a policy, and do you support corporations being so heavily involved in the political process through donations to campaigns?”

Vice President Tarson: “I don’t regret supporting that bill, not one bit. As you can probably tell, we no longer are in a recession. Our economic numbers are higher than they have been in a very long time, probably since Katniss Everdeen was in office. Clearly, cutting that tax rate spurred some much needed growth. As for corporations involved in the political process, I think that companies as a whole shouldn’t donate. I haven’t accepted any donations from major corporations. However, every person in Panem should have the right to participate in our political process, and if Senator Walters or Senator Kennedy or Representative Christian have an issue with that, they should really consider how that would be a violation of basic constitutional rights.”

Representative Christian’s rebuttal: “Madame Vice President, with all due respect, your donations may not directly from the corporations themselves, but the fact that company executives funnel millions into your campaign warchest is a clear indicator that you still aren’t any sort of independent from corporate interests.”

Senators Kennedy and Walters ceded their response time following Representative Christian’s response.



Question: “Representative Christian, you have spoken at length during your campaign rallies on government accountability and ensuring that the government remains open and transparent. Under the Canth administration, you were notably open about their lack of transparency and their corruption. What do you have to say regarding the same subject for the Mellark administration, and what would you change as vice president?”

Representative Christian: “While the Mellark administration has undoubtedly improved from the Canth administration on government transparency and corruption, let me remind everyone that the bar was rather low under President Canth. This administration, though marginally better, still has acted brazenly in including lobbyists and corporate interests into the legislative and executive process, corrupting the system that was set forth after the Revolution. We need a reset; we need to remember that a government that conceals its actions is a government that has something to hide. As vice president, the first thing I would push for is a lifetime ban on lobbyists serving in the White House and a ten-year waiting period before public officials could join the lobbying sector.”



ON FOREIGN POLICY:



Question: “Senator Walters, you have stated that Panem’s involvement in Greece was a ‘massive overreaching mistake that never should have occurred.’ How would you have recommended the response to the Greek crisis occurred?”

Senator Walters: “My statement wasn’t necessarily geared at non-involvement in Greece. Our involvement, beyond that of ensuring the safe return of nuclear weapons, was the issue. President Mellark and his administration- and yes, that would include you, Madame Vice President- are responsible for the loss of hundreds of Panem citizens’ lives due to the bungled response. We should have been better prepared to deal with such a crisis, and we should have put forward a concrete plan for how things would be handled.”

VP Tarson’s response: “Senator, that’s just heinous of you to exploit the tragic loss of these brave men and women. Our response was not bungled. It was as quick as we could make it. I understand that you have never sat in the Situation Room and made the tough decision to put our soldiers in harm’s way, but I figured that you were intelligent enough to understand that this decision was not taken lightly by the administration.”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, you have expressed that the need for a nuclear Panem is clear and that Panem should remain a nuclear power in order to deter other nations from bellicose actions. However, some of your opponents disagree with you heavily on this subject. Why exactly does the nation of Panem need to remain a nuclear power?”

Secretary Sutherland: “Well, we can start out by looking directly at what just happened in Greece. Greece attempted to obtain nuclear arsenals during their conflict with the Grecorussian Empire, leading to a foreign nuclear crisis. ”



Question: “Senator Kennedy, you have previously criticized the Mellark administration’s approach to foreign policy as, in your words, it “goes much farther than it should into others’ affairs.” Please explain what you meant in this statement.”

Senator Kennedy: “That statement largely refers to the idea that is prevalent within the Mellark administration that we should intervene in other nations’ issues. I know that this may be a radical approach for some on this stage, particularly the Vice President, but we have enough issues at home that we don’t need to worry about making Greece our colony.”

Tarson’s response: “You’re right, Senator; we do have issues at home to focus on, and in our administration, we have tackled key issues such as education, the economy, and tax reform. However, we cannot simply avoid foreign policy, as popular as that may be. We need to make sure our nation is safe from all enemies foreign and domestic..”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, there are growing concerns over human rights violations in nations like Oceania and Greece. What is your opinion on how we should combat such violations, or should we even have a role in ensuring against such violations?”

Vice President Tarson: “Without a doubt such human rights violations are not appropriate or acceptable. However, you bring a very valid question to the table: should we intervene? My personal opinion would be that we should respond when our assets or interests are at risk. However, beyond that, we should be cooperating with the Council of Nations to implement strict sanctions against the nations involved.”



Question: “Representative Christian, the nation of Oceania has threatened a trade war with the nation of Panem following what they refer to as ‘invasive acts’ on their soil due to our offensive to defeat the Oceanian Empire. What is your view on how we should respond to such threats?”

Representative Christian: “I have no doubt that Panem is prepared for such a trade war, but we should consider diplomacy in this matter. If it possible to deescalate such a conflict, it should be done with the utmost haste. I’m not certain if the Mellark administration has done so; however, I certainly urge a diplomatic ending to this.”


ANALYSIS: Based on flash polling conducted immediately after the debate, the following results occurred:

Which candidate do you believe won the debate?

Rebecca Tarson – 40 percent

Matthias Christian – 29 percent

Delia Sutherland – 12 percent

Jace Walters – 5 percent

Quentin Kennedy – 3 percent

Undecided – 11 percent

If the general election were held today, which candidate would you be most likely to vote for in the election for vice president?

Rebecca Tarson – 32 percent

Matthias Christian – 22 percent

Jace Walters – 16 percent

Delia Sutherland – 14 percent

Quentin Kennedy – 12 percent

Undecided – 4 percent


The results show clear movement for Vice President Tarson; the Vice President now leads the field following the debate by a stark ten points over her nearest competitor, Matthias Christian. While the race is expected to narrow, this is certainly a good sign for Tarson as she continues in her race for reelection.

Campaigning resumes following Amelia devastation

The general election campaign has officially resumed today following a week-long pause due to the threat of Hurricane Amelia and the devastation that followed in District 4.

President Peeta Mellark, First Lady Katniss Everdeen, and Vice President Rebecca Tarson flew by hovercraft to District 4 to view the destruction and offer on-site assistance to officials in District 4. The three worked with emergency personnel to help clear wreckage in one of the towns on the coastline and later served food to evacuees further inland. The presidential and vice presidential candidates of all major parties extended their well-wishes to those in the line of the storm, putting forward offers to help in any way possible.

Coming up very soon, however, is the vice presidential debate, followed by the presidential debate. The two debates will mark the very end of the election season, and for the five candidates for each position, everything is on the line as it remains too close to call at this time.