The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office conducted another Youth Straw Poll on Tuesday, taking the political temperature of students ahead of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Monday.

While attention naturally focused on the results among Democratic presidential candidates amid that competitive race, it is important to note that many — or maybe even most — of the students who participated aren’t old enough to participate in the caucuses or cast ballots in this fall’s election. The list of participants statewide includes dozens of elementary and middle schools, for example.

Still, entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Yang garnered 23% of the about 27,600 votes cast for Democratic presidential candidates to lead the field. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders received 20%, while former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg received 17.5%. Former Vice President Joe Biden received a little more than 11%, and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer got 10% to round out the top 5.

The state data also can be evaluated by county, prompting an examination of the Iowa portion of the Telegraph Herald coverage area — Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties.

In those five counties, Yang received the most votes — 191 — of any Democratic presidential candidate in keeping with his statewide win. Buttigieg received 166; Biden, 152; Sanders, 138; and Steyer, 120.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump received 95% of the votes cast for Republican presidential candidates in the five counties, not surprisingly trouncing Joe Walsh and Bill Weld. Statewide, Trump received 91.5% of votes in the poll among Republican candidates.

In Clayton County, Trump received the most votes of any one presidential candidate, with 31. But Democratic candidates received 39 votes total.

In Delaware County, Trump got 32 votes. Democratic candidates received 48.

In Dubuque County, Trump got 175 votes. Democratic candidates received 525.

In Jackson County, Trump received 149 votes. Democratic candidates received 94.

In Jones County, Trump received 308 votes. Democratic candidates received 251.

But students were invited to weigh in on more than just the presidential races.

Five Democrats have announced their bids to represent their party in an effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Joni Ernst. In the five counties covered by the TH, Kimberly Graham received the most support of those five candidates, receiving 206 votes. She was followed by Michael Franken, 163, and Theresa Greenfield, 121.

Meanwhile, three Republicans have announced their bids to unseat U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat from Dubuque.

In the TH coverage area in the straw poll, the widely-regarded frontrunner — Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson, of Marion — was edged out by Thomas Hansen, of Winneshiek County. He received 318 votes, compared to 282 for Hinson. Darren White, of Jackson County, received 150 votes.

It’s worth noting that Iowa’s First Congressional District covers 20 counties.

Osmundson backs effort to remove gender-identity protections

Iowa Rep. Anne Osmundson, R-Volga, was the co-sponsor of a bill introduced on Wednesday that quickly garnered heavy attention.

She was one of nine Republican members of the Iowa House of Representatives that sponsored the bill to amend the Iowa Civil Rights Act by removing protections against discrimination for transgender people.

Osmundson, who represents most of Clayton County, did not respond to messages from the TH seeking comment.

Civil and gay rights advocates immediately criticized the measure, and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee quickly announced that he would not be assigning the bill to a subcommittee, effectively killing the measure.

Iowa Rep. Lindsay James, D-Dubuque, shared a story about the bill being dead on her Facebook page with this message, “Just barely into our third week at the Legislature, and this cruel and disgusting bill is filed. The Capitol is the people’s house. This is happening in your house. Please stay tuned in. We need your voice.”

Candidates — and surrogates — rush to Dubuque

Four Democratic presidential candidates scheduled Dubuque campaign events in the days before the Iowa Caucus.

Yang rolled into town on Thursday night, Steyer on Friday night and Buttigieg on Saturday, while Biden will hold an event today on the campus of Clarke University.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren did not have Dubuque on her last-minute campaign event list, but three notable figures are scheduled to visit the city on her behalf.

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, also a former presidential candidate; U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico; and Wisconsin Rep. Greta Neubauer; will be in town today on Warren’s behalf for events, though they are not open to the public.


  • Iowa Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, endorsed Biden for president.
  • Iowa Rep. Chuck Isenhart, D-Dubuque, endorsed Steyer for president.
  • Former Iowa Rep. Darrell Hanson, a Delaware County resident who served in the Iowa House from 1979 to 1995, and Dubuque County Recorder John Murphy endorsed U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar for president.
  • Sage Rosenfels, a Maquoketa, Iowa, native who went on to star for Iowa State before playing 12 years in the NFL, endorsed Buttigieg. 


11:15 a.m. today — Biden will hold a campaign event at Clarke University’s Kehl Center, 1550 Clarke Drive. The doors will open at 10:45 a.m. Attendees can RSVP at

7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 — The caucuses will be held for both the Democratic and Republican presidential primary campaigns at locations all across the state of Iowa. Attendees must be at their locations by 7 p.m. to participate. To find Democratic locations, visit To find Republican locations, visit