Mock Convention’s Iowa Team Predicts Trump Win in Iowa Caucuses


LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA -- The 2016 Washington and Lee Mock Convention Political Team predicts Donald J. Trump will win the popular vote of the Iowa caucuses, the first step of the 2016 National Republican Primary.

As the nation looks toward the Iowa caucus on the brink of the presidential primary season, students at Washington and Lee University are mirroring Iowa’s research processes. W&L’s Iowa delegation, led by State Chair Will C. Brown ’16, has spent the last year delving into several key data points about the state. Through research of voter turnout rates, quality of campaign organization, the caucus vs. primary methods, state demographics and past electoral history, the student delegation feels it can correctly determine the state’s presidential pick.

Understanding the significance of Iowa in the nomination cycle, Brown and the rest of the Iowa delegation reached their conclusion by contacting professors, both in-state and from other universities who closely watch the Iowa election. Then, Brown met with the Mock Convention national political team, which is comprised of five regional chairs and two national analysts. Together, they and a few political consultants collaborated to predict who would win the state’s 27 bound delegates, allocating them proportionally based on a candidate’s projected final standing on Feb. 1, the night of the Iowa caucus. 

“Our goal in the state chair-national political team meetings is to combine all of our research and work together to make our final prediction for the state,” said Kevin Ortiz ’16, Mock Convention’s political analyst.

The political team predicts that the Iowa caucus will yield a close race for first place between Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, with both candidates earning nine delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Trump's strong populist support will ultimately carry him to a narrow victory in Iowa.

“This race has been unique to say the least. From Gov. Scott Walker’s early exit to Dr. Ben Carson’s meteoric rise and fall, the campaign has had its fair share of twists and turns,” said Brown. “Had you told me a year ago that Donald Trump would be winning Iowa’s caucuses, I wouldn’t have believed you.  But now, it looks at this point like Iowa’s ready to adopt the slogan Make America Great Again!" added Brown.

 Mock Convention’s Iowa political team notes that it is important to remember that the winner of the Iowa Caucus historically has not become the GOP nominee at the convention. Since 1980, only Bob Dole in 1996 and George Bush in 2000 have won the Iowa caucuses and emerged as the overall nominee.

“We say this only to remind readers that Trump's projected success in the Hawkeye state, while certainly a factor in who we ultimately predict come February 13th, will not be the sole data point to which the Mock Convention political team refers. There is much still to be seen in the 2016 National Republican Primary,” according to a statement issued by the Iowa political team.

With the Iowa caucus less than a week away, the big question remains: will Iowa follow W&L’s mock Iowa delegation and nominate Trump? And who will be the big winners in New Hampshire and South Carolina? Stay tuned for more Mock Convention news and join us for Convention Weekend, February 11-13.

Read the official report here.