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The results of yesterday’s presidential caucuses are in, and aside from all the headlines and news coverage of wins by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Ted Cruz, there remains an untold story of educators working to mobilize other educators and their families to volunteer and turn out.
Among the takeaways of yesterday’s first-in-the-nation caucus:
- Forty educators were trained by the National Education Association and the Iowa State Education Association as spokespersons. These educators sought out and asked candidates tough questions and used social media to spread pro-public education messages.
- They and other ISEA members became fixtures at campaign events throughout the state. They were sought out by local and national media, including four who participated in CNN’s nationally televised candidate town hall.
- ISEA members turned out at more than 125 campaign events. On average, 75 members each attended the targeted events.
- ISEA members — joined by educators from Wisconsin and Minnesota — filled nearly 500 canvassing shifts, including more than 200 shifts during the final weekend. Educators knocked on more than 2,500 doors on the final weekend in Dubuque alone and nearly 25,000 doors throughout the campaign.
- Educators made nearly 15,000 calls to ISEA members and other voters during the final weekend to encourage caucus attendance.
The results of the 2016 presidential election will have direct consequences for us as educators, for our students, and for working families across the nation. It’s very important for us to have an ally in the White House — someone who supports public education and working families. We need a candidate who recognizes the challenges facing students and working families in trying to get a good education, said Carrie Pugh, director of Campaigns and Elections for the National Education Association.
The unprecedented involvement by educators is all the more the noteworthy given how close the Democratic race was: Clinton beat Bernie Sanders 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent. On the Republican side, Cruz took 27.6 percent of the vote to Donald Trump’s 24.3 percent.
The next presidential contest, the New Hampshire primary, will be held February 9.