The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI Iowa caucus precincts see low student turnout

Nikki Haley unofficially won all three precincts that gathered in the University of Iowa Iowa Memorial Union.
Carly Schrum/The Daily Iowan
Caucusgoer Jasmyn Jordan speaks in support of Former President Donald Trump and 2024 Presidential Candidate during the Iowa caucuses at the Iowa Memorial Union on Monday, Jan. 15th, 2024. (Carly Schrum/The Daily Iowan)

The University of Iowa Iowa Memorial Union, which is normally filled with students, was nearly empty Monday on caucus night. 

Despite the extreme cold outside, about 15 UI students showed up on Monday to support their candidate in the Iowa Republican caucuses, but the majority of the caucusgoers were older Iowa City residents.

Although Trump has already been voted as the winner of the Iowa caucuses according to estimates from the Associated Press, Nikki Haley won on Monday in Iowa City precincts three, five, and 21, held at the UI Iowa Memorial Union. 

As the recent blizzard delayed many students’ return to campus and canceled or moved the first day of spring classes online, the student turnout was smaller than expected. 

However, other Iowa City residents caucused on Monday. Most Haley supporters were concerned with border security and foreign relations due to the Israel-Gaza war. 

Even though Trump hardly received any votes in the three Iowa City precincts, Jasmyn Jordan, UI student and chairwoman of the conservative UI group Iowa Young Americans for Freedom, worked as a “Trump Caucus Captain” in the IMU, and has volunteered for the Trump campaign for the past several months. 

“One of the opportunities that was presented at one of his rallies I attended was serving as caucus captain, and I figured that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the president and serve the Iowa community,” Jordan said.

Jordan caucused for Trump on Monday and said his recent legal controversies have no impact on her support for the former president.

“It’s not his fault for these issues,” Jordan said. “People are just attacking him because they see how successful he is and how he will actually benefit the country rather than continue the downward spiral.”

Another UI student, Caleb Killing-Matthews, caucused for Ron DeSantis. He said DeSantis has the greatest chance of winning the general election. Killing-Matthews caucused for the first time on Monday. 

“I study political science, so it’s interesting to take part in this,” Killing-Matthews said.

Andrew Ashby, 47, of Iowa City, who is a pulmonologist and registered Republican, caucused for Haley at the Iowa Memorial Union.

“I’m tired of old men making decisions for everyone and I want somebody fresh and new and energetic and she seems to have all of that,” Ashby said.

Despite voting for Haley, some caucusgoers took issue with the candidate. 

Pat Elworth, 67, of Iowa City, voted for Haley, but felt bothered by some of her shortcomings when it came to public speaking.

“Haley has had some flubs with her speeches as of late which has had an impact,” Elworth said. “You can’t call Caitlin Clark ‘Kaitlin Collins’ and get by with that in the state of Iowa.” 

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About the Contributor
Grace Olson
Grace Olson, News Reporter
Grace Olson is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She's a news reporter for The DI, reporting primarily on local government. She is from Denver, Colorado and worked on the pirnt publication from her high school prior to her work in college.