The week leading up to the Iowa caucuses brought three presidential candidate visits to Council Bluffs that drew Creighton students from across the river.
The campaign events were for business- man Andrew Yang, former Vice President Joe Biden and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a visit scheduled for Jan. 30, but it was canceled.
“It’s a unique experience thinking you could be meeting and getting a photo with the future president,” said Quinn Hardy, a senior in the Heider College of Business and the social media chair for Creighton College Democrats.
During this election cycle, Hardy has seen 16 candidates in Council Bluffs who were, at one point, running for the democratic nomination.
Hardy, who said he supports Bernie Sanders, went to Biden’s event on Jan. 29, which
was attended by members of the International Association of Fire Fighters labor union.
“You would rarely get the chance to get this close to the president, but seeing them in Iowa is a much more relaxed and intimate atmosphere where you can stand right next to them with no Secret Service or police,” Hardy said.
Sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences Peyton Young is a Warren and Yang supporter and has attended Sanders’ and Cory Booker’s events in Council Bluffs during this election cycle.
“It makes candidates feel more real when you have access to them,” Young said.
Young said that seeing candidates in Iowa matters.
“I’ve been paying attention to who comes to Iowa which impacts me and my decision in the primary because I am a Midwestern through and through, and I want to vote for someone who cares about the values we Midwesterners have,” Young said.
Candidates hold events in Iowa because it is the first state to vote for the democratic nominee. The last week in January was an opportunity for candidates to gauge and increase their support right before the Iowa caucuses on Monday night.
Aidan Swanson, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and Yang supporter, attended Yang’s event in Council Bluffs on Jan. 27.
“I have met Andrew multiple times but haven’t had the time to go see any other candidates,” Swanson said. “I love being on the ground level with the Yang campaign because it is such a positive, hopeful, eclectic group of people with many of whom have never even thought about politics before.”
After volunteering for the campaign on weekends over the last three months, Swanson was a precinct captain for the Yang campaign for Carter Lake Precinct 2 during the caucuses.
The caucus results were delayed on Monday night because of technical difficulties and reporting problems, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.
Swanson said that the process was complicated and that the first alignment, second alignment and allocation of delegates at his caucus location took about 2 1/2 hours.
“Overall, I am quite disillusioned with the DNC and the Iowa Caucuses,” Swanson said. “There was a gross lack of preparedness, and it makes voting far less accessible to people.”
As of Feb. 5, 86% of the caucus results were reported. Listed from highest vote count to lowest, Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren, Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar were in the top five, according to The Associated Press. Buttigieg and Sanders were tied with 11 pledged delegates each, and Warren had five delegates. Fourteen pledged delegates had not yet been reported.