Politics

How Millennials Voted in the Iowa Caucus

February 1st 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

DES MOINES, Iowa — The lecture hall at Drake University quickly filled to capacity with 485 voters — mostly students — on Monday, the night of the Iowa Caucuses. The Republican Caucus was held just upstairs, with lines for both electoral events extending well beyond the building. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders came in with 250 votes, more than the totals of his rivals Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley combined.

Drake University

The youth turnout for the Democratic Caucus at the private university in Des Moines, Iowa, was significant. The results of the electoral event demonstrated that Sanders continues to hold sway over Millennial voters, a trend that ATTN: recently reported on. Clinton received two fewer votes than O'Malley, who visited the caucus precinct minutes before the event commenced and subsequently announced that he would drop out of the presidential election.

"Hillary Clinton always needed to work on her support among the youth," Drake University student body president Kevin Maisto, who was elected captain of the Clinton group, told ATTN:. "I think her messaging is strong, how she communicates is strong, she just isn't present in the conversations that the youth are having — whether it's Snapchat that Bernie's been really strong on or targeted YouTube messages — she just hasn't been where the Millennials are and she just needs to do a little bit better about that."

At multiple points during the caucus, supporters of Sanders and O'Malley began to chant the name of the candidate of choice, with the Sanders group being the most vocal. A few attempts by the Clinton camp to make their voices heard — they shouted "I stand with her" and "Hill-a-ry" a couple of times — lasted only moments and were quickly overpowered by the competing chants resounding in the room.

RELATED: Why Bernie Sanders Appeals to Young Voters

For Democrats, part of the process of the Iowa Caucus involves moving to areas designated in the precinct for each candidate. The surprise visit by O'Malley early in the caucus was complemented by a surprising outcome: the third-place candidate had one more vote than Clinton after the first round and then two more votes after the undecided caucus-goers were forced to pick a side.

But from an outsider's perspective, it was apparent from the outset that Sanders would win at Drake University. His side of the room spilled over multiple rows, and the final headcount tally reflected a broader trend among Millennial voters: previous polls have indicated that Sanders beats out Clinton in support from voters aged 18 to 24 by a ratio of 2:1. The final results of the Iowa Caucus shows Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz as the winner; the final results for Democrats have yet to be announced. ATTN: will update this story as more information becomes available.