Yang tops Democrat students’ list for president

Hi-Line Poll by Ryan Westhoff

The Tiger H-Line poll of student opinions on the upcoming Iowa Caucuses brought in some shocking results, with businessman Andrew Yang claiming a surprise 12-point lead at the top of the Democratic portion of the poll. The poll, which sampled 94 total students, garnered 80 responses to preferences for Democratic candidates and 64 responses to preferences of candidates in the Republican primary.

The topline result of Yang is a stunning result for many, as he currently sits at just 2.5 percent of the vote in Iowa according to RealClearPolitics’s polling averages. Supporters of Yang, including senior Hollis Wilson, like him because of his unconventional approach to politics. “I like Andrew Yang for many reasons, but mainly because he doesn’t seem too concerned with political parties. I just like good ideas. I don’t care about fighting with the other side. I’d rather hear them out.”

Another candidate with a solid poll result is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, or “Mayor Pete” as he is also known. Buttigieg’s strong performance in the Hi-Line poll is coupled with his overall strength in the state of Iowa, where he comes in first place polling at 22.5 percent, according to RealClearPolitics. How has a candidate with such nontraditional experience catapulted into such a high polling position over the course of just a year? Senior Japhy Holt said, “I appreciate his youthful take on many issues such as fighting climate change since he will see the effects in his lifetime, the removal of the electoral college in favor of a popular vote system and enforcing stricter gun laws.”

Of course, the success of these two unconventional candidates largely comes at the expense of the three more traditional politicians in the race. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren come in third and fourth place, respectively, and former Vice President Joe Biden takes fifth place, but all hope is not lost for these three. Sanders, Biden, and Warren all are still in the consideration of at least 28 percent of respondents, a crucial statistic due to the quirkiness of Iowa’s caucus system. 

Holt said that she is still considering Warren “because of her policies including maternity leave, raising the minimum wage and eliminating the cost of college.”

Out of the respondents, nearly 28 percent plan on caucusing in February and 29 percent say they have seen at least one presidential candidate in person during the current cycle. 

These numbers show a considerable amount of political engagement by students. A crucial aspect of the Iowa Caucus is the ability for prospective caucus goers to meet face-to-face with the various senators, business people and governors vying for their vote, and according to the results of the Hi-Line poll, 9.7 percent of respondents have gone out of their way to engage in caucus activity, meeting three or more candidates in person this year.

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