Iowa students participating in youth straw poll

Donald Trump and Joni Ernst lead straw poll races, which are being held at schools across the state

Posted: Oct 28, 2020 2:25 AM
Updated: Oct 28, 2020 6:27 AM

OSAGE, Iowa - While many are too young to cast a vote in this election, students are getting a lesson in democracy through the Iowa Youth Straw Poll.

In an unofficial statewide poll, sponsored by Secretary of State Paul Pate's office, kids voted for the President, as well as candidates in Iowa's U.S. Senate and U.S. House races.

Osage High School teacher Ann Ott is administrating the poll for middle and high school students. She hopes the poll will highlight the importance of participating in democracy for the next generation.

"I think it's good for them to see and get a feel for what the process is like, so that hopefully, they can understand the importance of being a participant in the political process as adults."

In addition, some of the results from the straw poll have lined up with actual election results; the 2016 straw poll showed Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton by 10 points, and reflected the winner of actual election results in every Iowa congressional race except one. At Osage, Ott says Trump won in the district's straw poll.

"Sometimes, it aligns with the results of the adults, and sometimes it doesn't. It's fun to do that comparison with them."

As of 4:13 p.m. Tuesday, Donald Trump leads the Presidential race at Osage Middle and High Schools with a 45.5% lead, compared to Joe Biden's 36.4%. Joni Ernst leads the U.S. Senate race at 55.6%; Theresa Greenfield comes in second at 37%.

At Clear Lake Middle School, 312 students participated in their straw poll. Donald Trump received 62.2% of the vote in the Presidential race, with Joe Biden receiving only 18.6%. For U.S. Senate, Joni Ernst leads at 59.3%, with Theresa Greenfield receiving 27.6%. For the U.S. House of Representatives' 4th Congressional District race, Randy Feenstra received 61.9% of the vote, with JD Scholten receiving 38.1%.

As of 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, with more than 27,000 votes cast, Donald Trump leads the Presidential race with a 57% lead over Joe Biden's 31%. Kanye West is in third at 9%. In addition, Joni Ernst is ahead of Theresa Greenfield in the U.S. Senate race, 55%-36%. For the U.S. House race, Randy Feenstra received 67.2%, with JD Scholten at 32.8%.

198 schools have reported results so far. Full statewide results can be found here; more results are expected to come in Wednesday.

Some students that have participated in the straw poll will be eligible to vote in the general election next week. 

The straw poll is popular elsewhere; even the Washington Post's "Kids Post" is conducting a children's only election.

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