Politics on Iowa State’s Campus


By Jessica White Unigo Representative at Iowa State University Iowa is the first caucus state and a perpetual swing state, which makes it a popular stop along the campaign trail. In the months preceding a presidential election, Iowa State University plays host to many politicians and celebrities who visit the campus to encourage students to get out and vote. “Many students are getting ready to vote in their first presidential election, and this is something very exciting and special,” said Samantha Clark, President of ISU Republicans. “The general consensus at Iowa State is there are enough conservatives and liberals to make anyone feel comfortable in their political beliefs. Compared to other campuses, Iowa State University has a much more diverse political atmosphere among the students,” said Cory Becker, member of the ISU Republicans. “Iowa State is pretty evenly split as far as Democrats and Republicans with our fair share of Libertarians, anarchists, and apathetic as well,” said Tyler Platt, president of ISU Democrats. “Since the campus is so evenly split, students are sometimes a little shy to express themselves politically. We are often inundated with politics and have had far more than our fair share of politicians visiting our campus throughout the years.” Iowa State has had several different celebrities appear on campus to campaign in favor of a politician. Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore came in support of Obama.  The Republicans have a McCain bus tour coming in the end of October. The youth vote, in particular, is a clear target of the Obama campaign this election year. The ISU Republicans do several things throughout the semester to get the word out. The ISU Republicans had a table at Clubfest, which is an event held every semester to showcase the many clubs on campus, where they gave out stickers and t-shirts for various Republican candidates. They also held a “Guess that Celebrity Republican” table on central campus where students could come and guess which celebrities are registered as Republicans and win prizes, as well as weekly trips to the McCain/Latham headquarters to make phone calls for their candidates. “The ISU Democrats have working closely with the Obama Campaign to improve volunteer efforts and to help facilitate events with surrogates and the candidates themselves.  Not to mention the obvious attempts to get people registered to vote, Promotion of Early voting on campus (aka satellite voting) and general political awareness, said Tyler Platt, President of ISU Democrats.

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