Office of the Iowa Secretary of State
Media Contact: Kevin Hall, Communications Director
For Immediate Release: October 16, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: Secretary Pate to conduct Iowa Youth Straw Poll for presidential, congressional races on October 29

DES MOINES – Thousands of students will vote for their preferred candidates for President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House during Secretary of State Paul Pate’s Iowa Youth Straw Poll on Tuesday, October 29. This will be the first Iowa Youth Straw Poll since a change in Iowa law that allows 17-year-olds to register to vote and participate in primary elections. Next year, they can vote in the Iowa Caucuses and the June primary if they will be 18 by November 3, 2020.

“We’re very excited about 17-year-olds having the opportunity to vote in the primaries, and with the Iowa Youth Straw Poll coming up, it’s an opportunity for young people to let these candidates know that their opinions count and their voice is important,” Secretary Pate said.

The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is a hands-on educational experience designed to inspire civic engagement. Every public school, private school, homeschooling student and youth group in the state is invited to participate. Presidential and congressional candidates were asked to provide a short video with a personalized message for Iowa students. The videos are available on the Elections 101 website and on Secretary Pate’s YouTube page.

The Iowa Youth Straw Poll has the support of the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Council for the Social Studies and has received national recognition for outstanding leadership in voter education.

“The Iowa Youth Straw Poll directly engages students in understanding how democracy works while preparing them to become active citizens,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise, a former social studies teacher.

The Youth Straw Poll is one component of Secretary Pate’s Elections 101 curriculum that is available for any school or civic organization to utilize. It is written by Iowa teachers for Iowa teachers. Two new components of the curriculum are lesson plans on the history of women’s suffrage and women in politics. The curriculum is available for free at

Students, teachers, and organizations can register for the Iowa Youth Straw Poll by clicking here. A full list of schools that have already registered is available at this link. Teachers and students are encouraged to post photos of their Youth Straw Poll activities on social media, utilizing the #BeAVoter hashtag.

An audio clip from Secretary Pate is available for your use at this link.


Fall 2019 Iowa Youth Straw Poll
U.S. President Candidates Votes Percentage
Mark Sanford 353 1.5%
Donald Trump 7,947 34.5%
Joe Walsh 252 1.1%
Bill Weld 172 0.7%
Michael Bennet 437 1.9%
Joe Biden 1,763 7.7%
Cory Booker 325 1.4%
Steve Bullock 149 0.6%
Pete Buttigieg 1,620 7.0%
Julian Castro 419 1.8%
Tom Steyer 985 4.3%
John Delaney 183 0.8%
Tulsi Gabbard 276 1.2%
Kamala Harris 548 2.4%
Amy Klobuchar 432 1.9%
Wayne Messam 118 0.5%
Beto O'Rourke 330 1.4%
Bernie Sanders 3,534 15.4%
Joe Sestak 106 0.5%
Elizabeth Warren 1,177 5.1%
Marianne Williamson 180 0.8%
Andrew Yang 1,715 7.4%
U.S. Senate Candidates Votes Percentage
Joni Ernst 10,546 50.9%
Michael Franken 1,336 6.4%
Kimberly Graham 3,854 18.6%
Theresa Greenfield 2,140 10.3%
Eddie Mauro 2,841 13.7%
U.S. Representative Candidates - District 1 Votes Percentage
Thomas Hansen 1,505 29.1%
Ashley Hinson 1,092 21.1%
Abby Finkenauer 2,577 49.8%
U.S. Representative Candidates - District 2 Votes Percentage
Mariannette Miller-Meeks 986 25.4%
Bobby Schilling 1,563 40.3%
Rita Hart 1,334 34.4%
U.S. Representative Candidates - District 3 Votes Percentage
Bill Schafer 991 16.7%
David Young 2,285 38.5%
Cindy Axne 2,659 44.8%
U.S. Representative Candidates - District 4 Votes Percentage
Randy Feenstra 506 9.7%
Steve King 2,391 45.6%
Bret Richards 710 13.6%
Jeremy Taylor 554 10.6%
J.D. Scholten 1,078 20.6%
Will you register to vote when you are old enough? Votes Percentage

Yes 18,765 86.7%

No 2,888 13.3%