As the largest university in Iowa’s capital and most populous city, Des Moines, Drake University offers students unparalleled opportunities to engage in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.
Drake has hosted presidential debates in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2020, and every presidential candidate knows that an opportunity to meet Drake students (and Griff) on campus is a must. That’s why we say Drake is the place “Where politics come alive.”
Affectionately known as the capital of the Iowa caucuses, Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher education in the Midwest. The private university enrolls nearly 5,000 students and serves as a hub for political engagement.
Academic programs relevant to the caucuses at Drake include Political Science; Strategic Political Communication; Law, Politics, and Society; and many of the programs within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. But it’s not just students in those programs who care about politics: the University received a Platinum Seal from the 2019 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge in recognition of a 51.8 percent student voting rate in the 2018 midterm election.
Drake’s official live mascot, an English bulldog named Griff, is helping get out the vote in 2020, regardless of your political affiliation. Follow along as he meets the candidates, provides stress relief to media, and brings joy to everyone he meets.
Headquartered at Drake, Vote Smart provides free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL AmericansLearn More
Led by Professor Rachel Paine Caufield and her students, the Project strives to tell the story of Iowa and to bring the caucuses to campus.Learn More
A state where politicians, campaign headquarters, national media and special events convene every four years as a hub for political enthusiasts.Learn More