Candidates seek to sway student voters with campus visits


Kennedy DeRaedt/Iowa State Daily

Bernie Sanders talks about his campaign for presidency, which includes his desire to change the economy, in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. “When we talk about wages, we are going to end this nonsense that women make 80 cents on the dollar compared to men,” Sanders said. Sanders visited Ames on May 4 to talk about his campaign for presidency and his slogan “Not me. Us.” He will also stop by Perry, Fort Dodge and Sioux City.

Jake Webster

The Iowa Caucuses will be Feb. 3. Until that date, presidential candidates will continue to parade across the state — including coming to the Iowa State campus.

Since the race kicked off with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announcing her exploratory committee to seek the presidency on New Year’s Eve 2018, more than a dozen presidential candidates have visited both the Iowa State campus and Ames as a whole.

Going to the candidates’ events is easy and generally does not require someone to sign up in order to attend. Candidates vary in how willing they are to answer questions, though most will answer some questions from Iowa State students who ask.

Anyone who attends an event on campus will usually be met with campaign staffers armed with clipboards seeking information from attendees. Those who sign up can expect to be met with emails or texts asking them to volunteer for the candidate whose list they signed up for or soliciting campaign donations.

The winner of the Democratic caucus in Iowa has gone on to win their party’s presidential nomination in every primary dating back to 1996, so whoever wins Iowa next year will have a recent favorable historical trend on their side.

In 2016, the Memorial Union served as a caucus site on the Iowa State campus. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., now in his second bid for the presidency, overwhelmingly won that caucus site and Story County as a whole.