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  • Writer's pictureAva Severs

The Obvious Frontrunner

The Iowa Caucuses are looming, and Des Moines has always been a hot spot for candidates as they try to gain Iowa voters’ support. There is a clear frontrunner making the vibes surrounding the Iowa Caucuses different than in years past. Former President Donald Trump has been polling ahead and appearing in Iowa. However, one candidate has been spending the most time in Iowa. He is from Des Moines. You may wonder if this is a new candidate, but nope, we know he has been running since 2020. His name? George. The beloved Drake University live mascot is known as Griff II. 


If there is one thing Drake University students can agree on, it is the fact that Griff II would get their votes. He is unproblematic, active around the community, and even politically active. At Drake, he is the “politician” we see constantly. His constituency is passionate about his campaign ahead of the election. George’s brother, the first Griff, set the stage for a 2024 run in 2020 when he was seen meeting candidates and his “Vote Griff” posters hung all over campus. Now, in 2023, George’s campaign is starting to pick up. The Caucuses are a month away, and George’s campaign buttons have arrived on campus. The Iowa Caucus Project helped him make his first campaign button, but his new ones are pretty good, too.


Although we do not have any data, Griff II would have a high approval rating across campus. Students would only be willing to vote for their live mascot over any real politician at Drake University. In many ways, George acts as a representative of our campus, just like elected representatives do. Providing for the Drake community is a full-time job. You can spot him supporting multiple groups on campus and even providing for the community. Making appearances on campus and supporting students is meaningful, so many would vote for George.


Pets, specifically dogs, are hard not to love. Especially when they are doing good for the community. A town in California has recently elected a Golden Retriever named Max as their mayor. This was the one election that was acceptable to buy an election. Max raised money for a local animal shelter with $1 donated as a vote. Max’s constituency loves him because he loves everyone. George is the same way. On a college campus, nothing makes students happier than a dog to look for at events or just on a random day as you’re headed to class. If you’re lucky, he will give you a little nuzzle on your cheek as you snap a selfie with him. 


As a college student, what is important to them in a politician? Drake University Junior Maggie Poltrock has a particular political party in mind, but even better, George is not affiliated with a political party. When asked about George’s campaign, she says, “Oh, I would absolutely vote for George. He just makes everyone on campus happy. You don’t really have to worry about the drama of politics and campaign promises with George. He’s just there to help and make everyone happy. I love that. I love seeing him in his little American flag tie as he meets candidates.” It’s true, George is the best-dressed candidate, in my opinion. He always sticks to the classic American flag tie. Patriotic and classic. 



As we continue into the Caucus season, it is refreshing to find a candidate we can all agree on. Maggie says, “Politics can get so messy. It’s just funny to think about our bulldog running a campaign and we all support it. We love him.” For Politics, students on campus love all of the political activity, but understandably, it can be overwhelming for other students. Our beloved bulldog George once again supports students by putting a smile on their faces. I know students would love to see Griff II on our ballot in 2024.

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