In the first round of the 2023 FCS Football Playoffs, the Drake University Bulldogs faced off against the North Dakota State Bison. In a 66-3 rout, the Bison won on their home field and advanced to the next round. In a rematch of sorts, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will be looking to win on the Bulldog's home on Jan. 15, 2024, when Iowans venture out to express their presidential preference on caucus night. Burgum attempted to improve his chances with college students at Drake University.
After the mandatory photo op with Griff II, Drake University’s live mascot, Burgum spoke to a group of around 40 at Pomerantz Stage in Drake University’s student union. This is the third candidate in this cycle to have an official visit to the University, along with Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson.
The Republican base tends to skew towards an older population, so it was interesting to see Burgum interact with the younger college students in the audience. Burgum started off the conservation with the story of how he rose from the small town of Arthur, North Dakota, and became a successful businessman before being elected as Governor of North Dakota in 2016.
A lone veteran in the audience pleaded for Burgum to stay in the race as we see several candidates dropping out. Burgum reminded those in the audience that when he ran for governor that he was just as long of a shot as he is now. However, as he campaigned for the governorship, Burgum's momentum kept growing, and he won the primary by 21 points. Due to this experience, Burgum promised those in the crowd that he would stay in the race at least through the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
As Jan. 15 nears, Burgum seems like a long shot according to recent polls. However, if it is anything like the football game, Burgum will dominate in Iowa.