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UNI Mock Caucus

By Christopher W. Larimer, University of Northern Iowa Professor of Political Science

The UNI Political Science Department along with the American Democracy Project hosted a “Mock Caucus” on the UNI campus Monday night. The results are reported below but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. New this year, the Democratic Party will be reporting out three numbers (as shown below)
  2. The results from this “Mock Caucus” are NOT from a random sample of UNI students
  3. While students participated in both a Republican and Democratic caucus for instructional purposes, on February 3rd actual caucus-goers will only be able to participate in one or the other

Republican results (which are based on a simple straw poll):

  • Uncommitted – 50 votes
  • Joe Walsh – 21 votes
  • Donald Trump – 20 votes
  • Bill Weld – 17 votes

Though not reported, several other candidates, both real and fictional, received a handful of votes.

Democratic results

Totals from first alignment

  • Bernie Sanders – 30 votes
  • Elizabeth Warren – 29 votes
  • Pete Buttigieg – 22 votes
  • Uncommitted – 22 votes
  • Andrew Yang – 19 votes
  • Amy Klobuchar – 12 votes
  • Tulsi Gabbard – 4 votes
  • Joe Biden – 4 votes

For viability purposes, we used the number of 125 attendees counted at the beginning of the night and a 15% viability threshold (i.e. a precinct awarding 4 or more delegates). As such, a candidate needed 19 supporters in order to be viable, meaning the supporters from Klobuchar, Gabbard, and Biden needed to realign. (NOTE: The 125 count is based on an initial count of attendees; more students came in after the viability number had been determined.)

Totals from final alignment

  • Elizabeth Warren – 34 votes
  • Bernie Sanders – 30 votes
  • Uncommitted – 29 votes (yes, Uncommitted can be viable)
  • Pete Buttigieg – 24 votes
  • Andrew Yang – 24 votes

If this were a precinct awarding 10 delegates, using the adopted formula (the number of supporters multiplied by the number of delegates to be awarded, divided by the total number of attendees) and rounding procedures, each candidate would receive 2 delegates.

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