What’s It Like To Be A Voter In Iowa?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know there’s something big going on in Iowa today. At 7pm CT, Iowa voters will head to their designated sites to participate in the much-anticipated caucuses, which marks the official start of the 2016 election cycle.

For weeks (months?!) we’ve been hearing about this day. News has focused on Iowa polls, everyone has an opinion on who has a leg up, analysts muse about what a win would mean or an upset would look like, and the candidates specifically address Iowa voters during the primary debates. Of course, the candidates have also spoken to voter after hopeful voter in events across the state, ranging from TV spots to door-to-door visits to town halls to large rallies to mailbox flyers to field supporters to calls and texts from the campaign to <gasp> campus visits.

It’s interesting that so much attention focuses on the importance of what’s happening in Iowa, and yet the majority of us are on the outside of it all. We can only read about the choice of music at the rally, or hear about the cities that a candidate has stopped through and the type of questions they’ve received.

There are ways we can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a voter in Iowa right now, though – and that’s through those of you who are living there and drawing closer to each other by yakking about your shared first-hand experiences.

For example, what's it like when a candidate selects your campus for a big rally, as when Bernie came through University of Iowa over Vampire Weekend?

What even is normalcy when the candidates are traipsing through your home turf, one after another?

How does it feel to be asked for your vote over… and over… and over?

It may feel weird to have so much attention thrown your way; it may be strange to have the rest of us peeking in at your Yik Yak feeds; or maybe you’re enjoying all the focus and special events! The thing is, you guys are front-row-center to this crazy massive “event” that comes around every four years and envelopes the whole country in its furor – and you’re experiencing it to a far greater degree and on an earlier timeline than anyone else. That’s a pretty cool experience that some of us may never get. And hey, we’re probably feeling a little bit of jealousy (does my vote matter too?) along with a lot of relief (it’s rather nice to simply walk across the street without being grilled on our voting plans) ... but thanks for letting us live vicariously through you.