College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

CPP students travel to Des Moines, Iowa to shadow US presidential campaigns

CPP students travel to Des Moines, Iowa to shadow US presidential campaigns

Over winter break, Drs. Neil Chaturvedi and Mario Guerrero traveled with 16 political science majors to Des Moines, Iowa with the intending of volunteering, observing, and shadowing the US presidential campaigns. Over eight days in the beginning of January, students had the opportunity to shadow the Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, and Joe Biden campaigns. In a little over a week, students had the opportunity to interact with the candidates and talk to Iowa voters in the leadup to the February primary caucuses.

CPP political science majors with Joe Biden

Some highlights of the trip include:

  • The students met former Vice President Joe Biden, took pictures with him, and were treated to a special inspirational one-on-one chat with him.
  • The Bernie Sanders campaign asked the students to sit behind the candidate at his political rally.
  • Members of the group was able to meet Bernie and take pictures with him. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, campaigning for Joe Biden, took pictures and spoke directly to the students for a short time.
  • The students met with Amy Klobuchar and took individual photos with her after a rally.
  • The Biden campaign awarded several students fellowships to continue their work in Iowa, leading up to the Caucus on February.
  • Students were interviewed/appeared on national media outlets (e.g., New York Times, CNN, CBS News, local Iowa affiliates).
Our political science program has a long history of graduating students who end up running political campaigns, working for government, and even running for office in the Southern California region. We took 16 of best, brightest, and most excited undergrads to be on the front stage of what will be one of the most consequential presidential elections in all of American history. Being in Iowa trains our students to be experts in campaign management and electoral politics, preparing these students to lead in their own right when they return and graduate from our program. These students are the future of American politics.