Drake University mascot, Griff the bulldog, makes rounds ahead of Iowa caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa (WLS) -- The eyes of the nation are turned to Iowa Monday and a certain university mascot has made a name for himself.

Griff the bulldog is the mascot of Drake University where they are dogged in their pursuit of all things political this time of year.

"It's a really big deal, all eyes are on Iowa right now and Drake is just the center of the political universe at this point," Associate Director of Marketing at Drake University, Erin Bell said.

He's become a must meet and greet for the candidates and voters.

"Griff just goes with the flow, like you just let me know where I need to be," added Bell. "His schedule is pretty crazy right now but we do all we can to make him available anywhere and everywhere."

Bell is also Griff's trainer.

"Griff is really just an example of how students here get a first-hand experience, up close and personal with every candidate that comes through. Griff has met nearly every single candidate for president this cycle," Bell said.

New rules for the caucuses could have a dramatic impact on the outcome with there now being three possible ways for the candidates to spin the results.

As Iowans gear up their caucuses, Griff has unleashed a slew of social media posts encouraging voters to do their part.

"He's actually running a presidential campaign of his own. We call it 'Griff out the vote' and just encourage people everywhere to get out and vote," said Bell. "Make your voice is heard and be engaged in the political scene out there."

You can follow Griff and his political campaign on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook at @drakeugriff.

The caucuses start Monday at 7 p.m.

For the first time this year, they'll report the first and second round votes as well as state delegate totals, meaning several candidates could claim victories.
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