On the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire — Day 6

After experiencing a last minute change of plans, which opened up our morning schedule, we had the pleasure of touring the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Located at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, the Institute has been striving to educate citizens and engage them in political activity since it’s doors opened in 2001. We toured the facility which includes classrooms, large rooms for talks and other gatherings, a research center, and hallways lined with historical campaign photos and memorabilia. We also found the Institute’s numerous green rooms and television studios, used for interviewing the vast array of candidates who visit the Institute, quite interesting. These days, the Center is averaging about 10 “hits” (interviews) a day.  The backdrops and lighting in the studio can be controlled from several remote locations. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics hosted the National Democratic Debate on December 19th, 2015 and will host the National Republican Debate on February 6th, 2016.  As the Institute’s Executive Director shared with us, this location is the center of more political campaign activity than any single location in the United States.

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After concluding our tour of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, we traveled to the western edge of the state to attend a Bernie Sanders’ Rally at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. We arrived at Dartmouth around 4pm and a line for the 7pm event was already forming outside the building. Thankfully, event volunteers utilized the large, open floor plan of the Hopkins Center to move the line indoors, bringing people inside out of the cold, winter weather. The picture below was taken after the line moved inside (much warmer than outdoors!).

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The 900 seat auditorium was quickly filled and we were told multiple overflow rooms were used as well. Senator Sanders gave a rousing speech that got the crowd cheering, but only took a few short questions at the conclusion of his speech. This was unlike the majority of other candidates we have seen who spent most of their time answering questions fielded from the audience. Perhaps his presentation style was due to the exceptionally large crowd, or possibly he considered a longer speech to be the most efficient manner of conveying his ideas. Regardless, we enjoyed witnessing yet another perspective and shared our thoughts about the rally over dinner at Molly’s, a local Hanover restaurant.

As it is now 12:04am, we officially have one day left of this incredible program before we head to the airport to return to St. Louis. It is bittersweet and we are fully prepared to make the most of the upcoming day!

On the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire — Day 5

The day started with a visit with New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley in Concord, New Hampshire. Chairman Buckley spoke about his extensive history with the Democratic Party, which started when he volunteered for Edmund Muskie’s campaign as a 7-year-old. When he was in his teens, he traveled around portions of the state with then-candidate, Jimmy Carter. Chairman Buckley is now in his fifth term of service as the state party chair. He then expanded on New Hampshire’s state party structure, as well as the opportunities open to New Hampshirites because of the state’s first in the nation status. Unlike some other experts we have talked to, Buckley is not worried about the status of the Democratic New Hampshire Primary which has become such an integral part of the state’s identity and economic health. Buckley also noted that due to increasing partisanship in American politics, there is a growing lack of communication between the Democratic and Republican state parties. Another trend Buckley discussed is the decrease in presence of local media at the state house because of the growing expense of running a newspaper like the New Hampshire Union Leader. A lack of reporters also leaves the door open for more miscommunication which can be amplified through the use of social media. We enjoyed tapping into Buckley’s extensive knowledge of party politics and comparing it to other party officials’ experiences both in New Hampshire and Iowa.

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After a quick bite to eat, our group went to the office of the New Hampshire Union Leader to meet with Trent Spiner, the Executive Editor. Like the Des Moines Register, the New Hampshire Union Leader works hard to cover all eligible presidential candidates and refrain from discrimination based on success in irrelevant or unrepresentative pre-primary polls. However, the New Hampshire Union Leader (NHUL) differs in how the newspaper chooses to endorse a presidential candidate. While the Des Moines Register takes into account all opinions of its editorial board before deciding on a candidate and publishing the endorsement a week before the Iowa caucus, the Union Leader’s endorsement is decided and published by the publisher, Joe McQuaid. The paper endorsed Governor Chris Christie back in November 2015.

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Spiner also noted that the Union Leader does not report on polls in their articles. The paper’s position is that pre-primary polls do not determine the votes of New Hampshire residents. Spiner also discussed how he embraces social media because it allows for more engagement and interaction with life and politics, especially among younger audiences.

Our day ended with a lovely dinner at a local restaurant and an inspiring testimony meeting at First Church of Christ Scientist, Concord.

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On the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire — Day 4

Students on the Race to the White House Field Program began the day at the Millyard Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire attending an event with Chelsea Clinton who was speaking in support of her mother, Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This was the first event that we attended with a surrogate speaker in place of the candidate.While in the smaller venue (with approximately 150 in attendance), students noted that the smaller area fit with the Chelsea Clinton’s soft-spoken speaking style. Instead of a stump speech you would normally get from the candidate at this stage of the campaign, Chelsea focused almost entirely on answering audience questions. The nature of the questions were focused on children’s education, especially early childhood education. There were a number of other questions surrounding universal healthcare. In regards to the campaign staff, students noticed that the vast majority of the staff was comprised of individuals who appeared to be recent college graduates, most likely in their 20s. While this has been true at several campaign venues, it was even more notable at this particular event. Several students (Michala, Shontee, Zeke) were randomly selected to be a part of a meet and greet with Ms. Clinton.

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Afterwards students attended an event with Senator Ted Cruz, held in the Londonderry High School, alma mater of recent Principia College graduate, and current Athletic Department Graduate Assistant, Lyssa Winslow. The cafeteria was packed with approximately 500 attendees, and also had an overflow room to accommodate those who were not able to fit into the main room. Most venues we have attended campaign events at in New Hampshire and Iowa have not had overflow rooms, but this high school could accommodate this use of space and technology. We noted that this was the second candidate (Trump being the other)to begin the rally with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Cruz modeled his talk as a future State of the Union such as Cruz would hope to be able to give should he be elected to president in the general election in November. The students were surprised that Cruz did not speak as much on immigration as he has touched on in the past, although he did discuss his foreign policy perspective on the Middle East repeatedly. Furthermore, the candidate from Texas did incorporate humor throughout his speech a number of times, perhaps responding to criticisms raised by a recent The New York Times editorial  (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/opinion/the-brutalism-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=0) where he was criticized for his serious and arguably harsh rhetoric. The entirety of the speech, which lasted for almost an hour and then was followed by questions, was done entirely without notes or other reference materials. It also contained plenty of comments designed to appeal directly to evangelical voters.  We also noted that Cruz primarily attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton rather than other Republican candidates he is competing with for the GOP nomination. Interestingly, we also noticed a few familiar faces from both the Trump and Clinton campaign events we attended the past two days. New Hampshire voters are definitely making their rounds to see the candidates in person and determine who they will cast their vote for early next month.

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Following the Cruz event, the group joined Pollyann Winslow at her home in Londenderry for a great dinner she prepared for us and some time to watch President Obama’s final State of the Union Address. We noticed that Senator Cruz, who we’d seen just hours before, was interviewed by NBC News following the president’s speech and the GOP response. Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders were spotted in attendance at the president’s address, and while other candidates may have been there, the students did not see them in any of the camera angles shown.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to a session with the Democratic Party of New Hampshire as we learn more about party structures at the state level.  We will also be visiting with news editors for the New Hampshire Union Leader, the leading newspaper in the state.

 

On the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire — Day 3

BRIGHT and early Monday morning we left the hotel at 6:15 a.m. to attend a Donald Trump rally! The event started at 11:00, and the doors were set to open at 9:00 so we aimed to arrive at 7:00. After waiting in our warm cars until the very last second possible, we bundled up and got in line outside the venue to wait for 45 minutes in the 25 degree weather along with windchill. We finally got inside, and waited another two hours for Trump to arrive. He walked out to “Eye of the Tiger,” and jumped into explaining why he is winning in all the polls. Cha and Brie both got to ask him questions, neither of which he answered thoroughly or on topic. A few agitators (deemed by us as “trolls”) interrupted Trump by shouting “This is boring! Make some jokes!” until Trump himself asked his secret service to escort them out.

At the end of the event, most of us attempted to get a selfie with Donald but to no avail. Connor did get a handshake though.

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Our afternoon was packed with three separate meetings with local political activists. First, we met with Jamie Burnett, Romney’s Deputy Campaign Manager in 2008, who gave us insight into campaign structure as well as the overall feeling of the Romney campaign. We learned that national campaigns are much more complex than state-level campaigns largely because national campaigns involve coordination between state and local level workers as well as other large-scale management. After a quick meal of bagels and cream cheese we piled into our trusty SUVs and made our way to downtown Concord to meet with Tom Rath at his law firm. Mr. Rath has been a campaign advisor to several GOP candidates and mentioned that he knew political icons such as former President George W. Bush and Karl Rove. Mr. Rath said that he wished polls weren’t as influential but still checked them almost daily to make sure the candidate he’s supporting is doing well. Finally, we made our way across the street to meet with Jim Demers, the New Hampshire Clinton campaign chair. Mr. Demers told us that he was the first person to support Barack Obama’s presidential run after he witnessed his magnetism during a routine visit to New Hampshire. Thanks to all three of these very knowledgeable and kind individuals, we finished the afternoon armed with lots of new info we can use to analyze presidential elections.

Our eventful day ended on an extremely high note when we traveled to Brie Burns’ family’s house in North Sutton, New Hampshire. Her family was so kind to open up their house for all of us. We were greatly appreciative of our time with them. A wonderful, home-cooked meal was prepared that everyone found delicious, and funny retrospective stories about the last week and a half were shared at the table.  Playing table games, like ping pong and foosball, were a necessity after dinner, where some of the students let out their competitive sides against one another. Dessert time was just as enjoyable as dinner, and the night harmoniously wrapped up with great casual discussion about any topic that came up. It was the perfect end to an extensive 3rd day in New Hampshire.

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On the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire — Day 2

On Sunday, we began our morning by attending church at the historic First Church of Christ, Scientist in Concord. We received a warm welcome by the congregation and were given a tour of the church after the service concluded. We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the church’s beautiful, stained glass windows, Mrs. Eddy’s role in the foundation of the Church, and the restoration process the church has recently undertaken. Having the unique opportunity to climb partway up the bell tower and ring the bells for those in the streets of Concord to hear was a highlight for many students as well.

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After concluding the church tour, some members of the congregation joined us for lunch at the local UNO Pizzeria. During lunch, we spoke with the church members to better understand how New Hampshirites are viewing the upcoming election. We explored what issues are most important to them when they consider who they will vote for, as well as, which candidates have made the best impression on them to date. Similar to Iowa, national security was certainly a prominent theme in our discussion. However, many of the individuals present also spoke positively about Bernie Sanders, something occurred less frequently in Iowa. We hypothesized this might be due to the fact that Bernie Sanders was a United States Senator for the state of Vermont and is, therefore, well known in New Hampshire.

After lunch, students received a tour of Mrs. Eddy’s concord home. We enjoyed learning about the work she conducted while living in Concord, especially the effort she put into revising the Science and Health there. We also learned about her Pleasant View residence where she lived from 1892 until 1908. Though the original building is no longer standing, we enjoyed seeing photos of her home and hearing of the event which drew 10,000 Christian Scientists from across the country to her home in 1903.

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Finally, we concluded the day by visiting with local political activists Arnie Arnesen and Dean Spiliotes.  Arnie and Dean have both been involved with New Hampshire politics for a number of years. Arnie is a former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the first female Democratic candidate for governor in the state, and a former U.S. House candidate. She has been hosting political radio talk shows, providing commentary and analysis during election cycles, interacting directly with candidates and the election campaigns for many campaign cycles. Dean is a political science professor at Southern New Hampshire University. Arnie and Dean had a plethora of knowledge and experience to share with us and encouraged us to think deeply about the many facets of the upcoming election. They spoke to previous elections which have some degree of comparability but concluded that no past primary has ever replicated this exact situation. Specifically, we discussed the increasingly large role social media plays in the outcome of the primary, the effect of the unimaginably large financial contributions Super PACs are providing candidates, and the politically discontented population which has resulted in an incredibly large number of  Republican candidates and one socialist running as a Democrat. Despite the success of the more unconventional candidates at this time, Arnie and Dean concluded the evening by reminding us that New Hampshire citizens have a proven record of disproving the polls and solidifying their candidate preferences only a day or so in advance of the primary.

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First Day in New Hampshire

On our first day in the Granite State, the Race for the White House group met with University of New Hampshire Political Science Professor Andy Smith, who also serves as the Director of the UNH Survey Center. Professor Smith shared countless statistics that undermine the usefulness and accuracy of polls that rely on lists of prior voters—even those done the day before the New Hampshire primary election! He shared that polling is challenging in New Hampshire primary elections because up to 45 percent of voters in the state choose whom to vote for in the final three days before the election, and up to 20 percent of New Hampshire voters decide on Election Day.

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UNH polling differs from some other polling techniques by conducting random digit dialing polls, a process in which thousands of voters across New Hampshire are randomly called and asked questions about various political topics. Such surveys may focus on candidate preference, candidate favorability, and probability of participating in the primary election.

One of the main differences between Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary is that the primary allows for voters to come to the polls throughout Election Day. Because of the increased flexibility and strong citizen interest in participating in the primary, voter turnout is higher, approximately 50% of the voting eligible public, as compared to Iowa’s average of 10-12%. We are excited to continue exploring the similarities and differences between these two lauded state contests!

After a quick break we were invited for dinner at Principia College alumn Pollyann Winslow’s house in Londonderry. She arranged to have New Hampshire State Senator Sharon Carson come and speak with us, among other guests. We asked questions about the New Hampshire primary and state politics. State Senator Carson expanded on how successful presidential campaigns are run in New Hampshire. Similar to Iowa, New Hampshire citizens expect to meet and talk to candidates multiple times and believe the fact that candidates have to look voters directly in the eye as they shake their hands and answer their questions provides an accountability that strengthens the democratic process.  In both states, campaigns rely on grassroots campaigning to sway voters.

After Senator Carson left we met with Mateo Moran who is a field operator for Carly Fiorina’s Super PAC, Carly for America. Moran expanded upon the Super PAC’s grassroots campaign for Carly Fiorina, noting that Carly decided to run a true New Hampshire grass roots campaign, without relying on media advertising. Pollyann was nice enough to invite local Londonderry officials, established personalities, and campaign volunteers. We had a delightful time conversing with all invited individuals and beginning our New Hampshire trip by learning extensively about New Hampshire local politics. We were also treated to a wonderful meal and dessert – a cake decorated to celebrate 100 years of New Hampshire’s “First in the Nation Primary” status.  Happy 100th Birthday, NH Primary!

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Our group also visited First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, New Hampshire. We had an opportunity to ring the bells, which you can see here.

On the Campaign Trail in Iowa — Day 8

Friday was our last day in Iowa. The state has been good to us.  We have had the pleasure of interacting with many friendly, gracious and knowledgeable people who have helped us understand more about the nature of Iowa caucus politics and the Iowa caucus process.

Friday morning we met with Polk County Democratic Party Chair, Tom Henderson. Des Moines is in Polk County, so after getting a sense of a county party operation in a smaller county yesterday during our time in Poweshiek County (where Grinnell College is located), we learned more about party organization in a much more populous area and one that leans Democratic politically.  Tom helped us understand his role in preparing for the upcoming caucuses on February 1, including the selection of precinct locations.  We learned that by state law, the parties can reserve public buildings for precinct caucuses, including structures such as schools and libraries. While churches are sometimes used, these private entities would need to agree to let a caucus occur on their property.  They are not obliged to do so according to law.  Churches are more likely to serve as precinct caucus locations for Republican caucuses. Our visit with Tom was very timely because on Thursday, both political parties in Iowa announced the development of a cell phone app that will hopefully allow precinct captains to report results in a more timely and efficient manner. Naturally, after some of the contested caucus results coming out of the Republican caucuses in the last election cycle, both parties are keenly aware of the need for efficiency and accuracy in reporting caucus results.

Tom has had the privilege of interacting with a number of democratic presidential candidates over the past two decades including John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and shared astute observations about the prior three Iowa caucuses. This review provided us with helpful perspectives of candidate strategies and traits and campaign organizations.

Our final session of the Iowa leg of our trip was with Drake University Political Science Professor Art Sanders. We were captivated by Professor Sanders’ astute and detailed analysis of each of the remaining candidates on both sides of the aisle. This session was a perfect ending to all of our activities in Iowa.  Our direct observation of the candidates and our numerous sessions with political scientists, current and former party officials, campaign staff and activists, have given us significant knowledge we will be able to use to analyze the last three weeks of the campaign and the eventual outcome of the Iowa caucuses.

As is the case with all elections, turnout is key. On the Democratic side, while it does not appear the turnout in the Democratic caucuses will rival 2008 when Barack Obama scored a stunning victory that catapulted his campaign, a larger than normal turnout could benefit Bernie Sanders.  Our speakers and our own observations from attending a Clinton campaign event and interacting with Clinton campaign staff this week verified that this time around, the Clinton campaign is well-organized in the state. While Martin O’Malley may not fare as well in Iowa, our session on Thursday in Poweshiek County where we received a primer on caucus math. This lesson illustrated how O’Malley caucus-goers and uncommitted caucus-goers might strategically behave after initial preference groups are formed on caucus night, and could also have an impact on the delegate count for each candidate in the precinct. Professor Sanders noted that from his observations, the O’Malley campaign was better organized in Iowa than the Bernie Sanders campaign, something that could impact caucus-day turnout.

As we have learned through our fall courses and time in Iowa, the caucuses are a dynamic process that involves a strong understanding of the rules and procedures. The two parties have different caucus processes.  Iowa Republicans essentially conduct a straw poll of presidential preferences on the evening of the precinct caucuses whereas Democrats form initial preference groups.  The Democratic process is more interactive and requires campaign precinct organizers to persuade other caucus goers to join their preference groups (supporters of candidates) before the final determination of viability (a percentage threshold a groups must meet that is based on the number of delegate at stake in the precinct).  Most American citizens also don’t understand that the caucus process is repeated at the county and congressional district levels before both parties hold their state conventions in the summer where the final delegate slate to the national Democratic and Republican nominating conventions is determined.  The big focus for the media is the presidential preference component.

It is important to understand how important the caucus process is to the development of the state party. For instance, in 2012, Ron Paul supporters were strategically cognizant enough to know that after the initial straw poll in the GOP caucus, supporters who remain in at the caucus location through the process of delegate selection stand a better chance of getting themselves selected as delegates to the state party convention where state party leadership is determined.  So, in 2012, Paul supporters (largely libertarian-leaning) essentially gained control of the leadership of the Iowa Republican party. The establishment Republicans (referred to in the state as the Branstad [Iowa Governor Terry Branstad] wing of the party), however, regained control of state party leadership during the 2014 caucuses (yes, party caucuses are also held during midterm election years as well, but obviously don’t involve presidential preference voting).

Precinct caucus night on February 1 will be a dynamic evening and, thanks to our time in Iowa, we feel very well positioned to interpret developments that evening as we watch reporting on television.

We feel fortunate to now have the opportunity to understand more about the first-in-the-nation primary state, New Hampshire, as we launch our week in the state on Saturday.

On the Campaign Trail in Iowa — Day 7

Thursday morning The Race for the White House crew drove to Hillary Clinton’s campaign field office in Grinnell, Iowa. We learned about get-out-the-vote activities like canvassing and cold calling from the office’s director, Jimmy Dahman.
After lunch the group split into three groups. Some volunteered for Hillary’s campaign by cold calling or canvassing (knocking on doors in the cold weather!!). Another group met with a volunteer for Bernie Sanders and also did some cold calling. The last group visited local Republican Party leaders at their home and talked politics over some cake and warm beverages.
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We all reconvened back at Hillary’s field office to learn more about the mathematics of delegate selection in the caucus process and participate in a mock caucus conducted by local party activist Kevin Crim.  In 1996, Kevin was invited by the Smithsonian to deliver these kind of lectures on the Mall in Washington, D.C. when Iowa heritage was being celebrated. Our whole day in Grinnell was graciously organized by Powesheik County Democratic Party co-chair Rachel Bly, who is also a Grinnell College staff member.
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The night ended at none other but Senator Rand Paul’s 53rd birthday party at Buzzard Billie’s in Des Moines! The crew got some pictures and got to shake the Senator’s hand. Next stop, New Hampshire!

On the Campaign Trail in Iowa — Day 6

We began our day by driving to the Iowa State University campus where we met with political science professors Mack Shelley, Stephen Schmidt, and Dianne Bystrom. During our conversations with these knowledgeable individuals, we discussed the Iowa caucus and the state’s political culture in the context of the upcoming 2016 election. We specifically focused on the unique circumstances which surround this election and the potential effect those circumstances could have on the outcome of the election.

Session at Iowa State Univ.
Session at Iowa State Univ.

This year’s caucus is going to be held on February 1st, significantly later than usual. The later caucus means that college students will be back on Iowa college campuses, making them easier to mobilize for volunteer efforts and on caucus night. Having an increased number of younger citizens partaking in the caucus could benefit candidates like Bernie Sanders in a way which the polls do not currently account for.

Dianne Bystrom, a leading expert on women in U.S. politics and director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University also provided insight into the unique role which women are playing in this election cycle. It is only recently that women have been able to maintain campaigns for a duration long enough to conduct academic research on them. This election represents the first time both major political parties have a female presidential candidate. Though sexism remains a prominent issue within the field of politics, the media coverage of women in this election has seen some improvement over previous elections, which is promising.

Following our visit to ISU, we attended a Ben Carson campaign event at a local coffee shop. The venue filled up quickly, as they tend to here in Iowa, but Dr.Carson was kind enough to give a second speech to those who were willing to wait. Generally, we were impressed with his presentation and appreciated his frank explanation of why he feels you do not need to be a career politician to be qualified to be elected president.

By the Carson Super PAC bus
By the Carson Super PAC bus
Dr. Carson, just a few feet away from us -- a common experience in Iowa!
Dr. Carson, just a few feet away from us — a common experience in Iowa!

Finally, we ended our evening by attending a wonderful Wednesday night church service at the local branch church in Des Moines. We were grateful to conclude the day surrounded by loving community members sharing the joy and inspiration which healing brings to our lives on a daily basis.

On the Campaign Trail in Iowa — Day 5

Today, the Race for the White House spoke to two former party state chairmen. Scott Brennan, former Democratic Party state chair of Iowa had much to say about the unique Democratic caucus system in Iowa. Characterized as a “conversation” about candidates, Brennan believes the Iowa caucus is important because of its democratic roots. He notes that if there were to be a national, or even regional, primary, candidates would not have to make face-to-face connection. Without a state caucus/primary system, candidates would rely solely on money to buy airtime to influence the vote in populated states like Texas, Florida, New York, and California.

Stephen Roberts, former Republican Party chairman who was influential in developing the modern Iowa Republican caucus system, gave the Race for the White House field program an extensive history of the Iowa caucus. Roberts notes that this is an exceptional year for the Republican Party. There are so many viable candidates, a number never before seen in a presidential election, which drastically changes the dynamics of the election and the Iowa caucus. The number of candidates contributes to the divisions within the Republican Party as different candidates appeal to different factions of the party: the social conservatives, the fiscally conservative, and the moderate conservatives.

Both Brennan and Roberts had unique perspectives on the Iowa caucus, and both chose to elaborate on different topics. While Brennan spoke of the different functions of the Democratic Iowa caucus, Roberts focused on describing the historical development of the Republican Iowa caucus. However, both men were emphatic that the Iowa caucus maintains its first-in-the-nation status in order to keep the integrity of the American presidential election process.

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The Race for the White House field program then raced over to Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s town hall event in Fort Dodge, Iowa. We sat in the front row to catch all the action! After his speech concluded and Sen. Rubio began taking audience questions, our own sophomore Channing Fisher asked him about bipartisanship. Later, senior Shontee Pant had the opportunity to ask him about his ability to fulfill an executive leadership role as President. Afterward, many of us were privileged to meet Senator Rubio and take pictures with him.

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The group has now been to four presidential candidates events. It was interesting to see how each of the candidates approached their events in Iowa. Governors Huckabee and Kasich both had smaller, more informal events in restaurants. In both of these events, the candidates primarily answered audience questions instead of giving a stump speech. These two gatherings were more informal, and this was reflected in the candidates’ interactions with the audience, as well as in how they dressed. Rubio’s town hall event was more formal with a professional backdrop. His event was well-organized and offered refreshments. Hillary’s event was the most formal with a raised stage and supporters in bleachers behind her. Her many volunteers at the event brought posters and started cheers. Hillary did not take questions as her event was more of a rally which a large group of supporters attended. She was introduced by former Iowan Governor Tom Vilsack. The manner in which candidates addressed the audience and the content of their speeches depended on the type of event that the candidate hosted. It was interesting to see how the candidates differed in their approach to campaigning in Iowa.