COMMERCE - Commerce High School students learned a lesson in social studies and history Wednesday when the gymnasium became the scene of a 2008 presidential debate.

Blake Witten and Kasey Ng, portraying Barack Obama and John McCain respectively, put a month of researching the candidates to use during a mock debate before the student body.

Clad in suit and tie and accompanied by his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, portrayed by Kamesha Cook, Ng answered questions about the economy, the current war and abortion.

Ng, 16, said that researching his role as McCain will enable him to research future candidates when he is old enough to vote.

“Everyone gets to know the candidates a lot better,” Ng said about the role-playing event.

To involve the entire class, history teacher Danesa Napier divided the sophomores into two groups - each supporting a different candidate.

“Regardless of their personal opinions,” Napier said. “They had to be on board for their campaign.”

Napier stressed the historical significance of this year's election to the students.

“As a history teacher this is an exciting opportunity to teach students about the importance of this event,” Napier said.

Witten said the research for his role as Obama made him a supporter of McCain.

“I like some of the things McCain supports and Obama doesn't support,” Witten said.

“If I was old enough, I would probably vote for McCain,” Witten said.

The majority of students at Commerce High School agreed.

Following the mock debate, students were given the opportunity to go to the polls and cast their vote.

Although, the outcome was close, McCain was favored among the students by 53 percent. Fourty-seven percent of the student body supported Obama.