Tonight, students at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa participated in a mock Iowa Democratic Caucus. Here are the caucus results, courtesy of NBC News’s Maura Barrett:
With 193 students participating in the mock caucus, the 15% viability threshold was 29 students. This meant that Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg were the only two candidates viable on the first alignment. In a total surprise, Bernie Sanders was among those who failed to make the viability threshold on the first alignment on a college campus, falling seven students short of viability on the first alignment. Additionally, five candidates had more first-alignment support than Joe Biden (in addition to Warren, Pete, and Bernie, Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar had more first-alignment support than Biden; Biden was tied for sixth with Mike Bloomberg, who isn’t even contesting the actual Iowa Caucuses that will take place one week from today, on first alignment).
While Iowa Caucus rules allow for a candidate who failed to make the 15% viability threshold on the first alignment to make the 15% viability threshold on the second alignment, no candidate that wasn’t already viable became viable on the second alignment, so Warren and Pete were the only two candidates viable on the second alignment, and, on the second alignment Warren had 87 students in her corner to Pete’s 66 students in his corner. Had this been an actual precinct-level caucus, Warren would have received five county convention delegates, and Pete would have received four county convention delegates.
While tonight’s mock caucus at Drake was not the actual Iowa Caucuses, and Drake University students might be a demographic that is more favorable to Warren than Iowa as a whole, tonight’s Drake mock caucus is a good omen for Warren’s campaign, and could be a sign that recent polling in Iowa could be drastically underestimating Warren’s support in Iowa.