Governor of Iowa: Straw poll outdated
Since 1979, would-be Republican presidential candidates have headed to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa Straw Poll — which has long been cast as one of the earliest indicators of how presidential candidates will fare in the Iowa caucuses and the GOP primaries. The state's Republican governor, however, thinks it's time to put an end to the tradition.
“The straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Gov. Terry Branstad told the Wall Street Journal. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party, but I think its days are over.”
GOP presidential candidates buy tent space and pay to get their supporters out in force — providing food, entertainment and even a political speech or two — in the hopes of a good showing. The event raises money for the Iowa GOP.
The results aren't binding — and they've rarely been a predictor of who will win the Iowa caucuses or the presidential nomination — but they can be a sign of enthusiasm for a candidate and potential grass-roots support.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll last summer, but she couldn't translate that into votes at the GOP presidential caucuses in January. She dropped out after the caucuses.
The eventual Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, never actively campaigned for votes at the straw poll even though his name appeared on the ballot.
Gov. Branstad cited those results as one piece of evidence of the poll's diminishing value.
“You saw what happened the last time,” Branstad said. “I don't think candidates will spend the time or money to participate in a straw poll if they don't see any real benefit coming out of it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starter Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates to series sweep of Mets
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Motorcyclist killed after striking pole in Penn Township
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Pirates notebook: Substance rule a sticky subject
- Oncologists wary of scaled-back guidelines in cancer screenings
- Cochran repair center planned in Harrison
- Indianapolis 500 notebook: Ganassi drivers stumble early
- Heyl: Soldiers & Sailors pushes for monument honoring modern-day veterans