Students from Perry High School will join their peers from about 250 other Iowa high schools Tuesday, Jan. 26 in the Iowa Youth Straw Poll, sponsored by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office. The poll follows November’s Iowa Youth Caucus and aims to engage soon-to-be voters in a hands-on learning experience that will inspire them to participate in civics in their community.
The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is part of the “Caucus 101” curriculum developed by Pate for Iowa high school students. The Iowa Youth Straw Poll has the support of the Iowa Council for the Social Studies and the Iowa Department of Education.
“I believe this Straw Poll will provide an interesting snapshot of where the Iowa Caucus races stand, just six days before Iowans vote,” Pate said Wednesday. “The Straw Poll will not necessarily be indicative of how the Iowa Caucus races will turn out, but it will provide some interesting insight into which candidates have appealed to Iowa’s youth. Also, most high school seniors are eligible to participate in the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1.”
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said students will “better understand the principles of our democracy when they actively participate. The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is an opportunity to introduce students to the democratic process and to help them build the knowledge and skills to be active, engaged citizens.”
Pate’s office worked with the Republican Party of Iowa and Iowa Democratic Party to organize the first statewide, bipartisan Iowa Youth Caucus Nov. 19, with 22 Iowa counties participating. Iowa high school and middle school students took part in both a Republican and Democratic mock caucus and cast votes for the presidential candidate of their choice for both parties.
In the November statewide youth caucus, which drew 1,026 Iowa high school and middle school participants, voting for Democrat candidates showed an overwhelming preference for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). The results were:
- Bernie Sanders-53.76%
- Martin O’Malley-23.8%
- Hillary Clinton-14.34%
Vote getting among the Republican candidates was led by Dr. Ben Carson:
- Ben Carson-23.78%
- Donald Trump-14.91%
- Marco Rubio-14.52%
- Rand Paul-13.74%
- Ted Cruz-8.38%
- Jeb Bush-7.21%
- Carly Fiorina-5.07%
- Chris Christie-2.53%
- John Kasich-2.44%
- Rick Santorum-2.24%
- Bobby Jindal-0.88%
- Lindsey Graham-0.78%
- George Pataki-0.78%
Kasich, Jindal, Graham and Pataki have since dropped out of the race for the Republican Party nomination.
A full list of the schools participating in the Jan. 26 Iowa Youth Presidential Straw Poll can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State website.