straw poll

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Editorials: What if Going Viral Matters More Than Iowa? | Emma Roller/The New York Times

The candidates have posed next to a life-size butter cow in Des Moines, ridden motorcycles down the streets of Boone, bought 3,500 ears of sweet corn in Windsor Heights and given helicopter rides to state fair attendees. This is just what it means to run for president: ritual fun, meat-on-a-stick and all, in the great state of Iowa. “Pretty much every day in Iowa, you can go listen to somebody who wants to be president,” Cody Hoefert, the vice chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, said. But is the presidential race listening to Iowa? Well before Feb. 1, when Iowa voters head to their caucuses, the 2016 contest is already a national campaign. National polls, not early voting states, have dictated who gets stage time in the Republican debates. The candidates who did invest early in Iowa have faltered and, in some cases, left the race entirely. And some presidential hopefuls have found more success from a viral social media post than from a day out on the stump. (One notable exception may be Senator Ted Cruz, who dethroned Mr. Viral himself, Donald J. Trump, from his front-runner status in one Iowa state poll on Monday).

Full Article: What if Going Viral Matters More Than Iowa? - The New York Times.

Iowa: Republicans scrap the Iowa Straw Poll ending election-season tradition | Associated Press

The Iowa Republican straw poll, once a staple campaign event for GOP presidential candidates, is vanishing because of waning interest from 2016 hopefuls. The governing board for the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously during a private conference call Friday to drop the event, said state GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. It was scheduled to be held in the central Iowa city of Boone on Aug. 8. Republican officials wanted to make sure negativity surrounding the straw poll didn’t hurt Iowa’s traditional place in holding the first votes of the presidential nomination contest, with its leadoff caucuses.

Full Article: Republicans scrap the Iowa Straw Poll ending election-season tradition | Daily Mail Online.

Iowa: The Straw Poll is Not Dead Yet | Bloomberg

The Republican Party of Iowa received confirmation Thursday from the Republican National Committee that it can hold its traditional straw poll without violating the party’s new rules governing the primary season calendar, meaning one of the more colorful events of the nomination season is likely to go forward this August. Iowa’s Republican State Central Committee is scheduled to formally vote Saturday on the future of the straw poll, a carnival-like event that features barbeque and speeches from presidential candidates in the state that traditionally hosts the first nomination balloting. “The straw poll has absolutely no bearing on the official presidential nomination process,” RNC General Counsel John Ryder wrote in a memo to Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “Indeed, it is exactly the nature of the Iowa straw poll as simply a fundraising mechanism at an entertainment event for Republican activists and their families, with absolutely no connection to any primary, caucuses or state convention, that protects the straw poll from the requirements of Rule 16(a)(1).” “It will require the candidates to move up their organizational efforts.”

Full Article: The Iowa Straw Poll is Not Dead Yet - Bloomberg Politics.

Iowa: Branstad seeks to end Iowa GOP straw poll | Associated Press

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is pushing to end the state’s Republican straw poll, but the state party chairman says the event may still go on next year. Branstad said Monday that the poll — traditionally held in Ames the summer before a contested presidential caucus — is a turnoff for many candidates and could diminish the power of the state’s caucuses. “I believe that a number of candidates have chosen not to participate because they don’t think it’s necessarily representative,” Branstad said. “The most important thing is to keep the Iowa precinct caucuses first in the nation and the first real test of strength of candidates.” But State Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he thinks there’s interest in continuing the tradition, provided it’s permissible under Republican National Committee rules.

Full Article: Branstad seeks to end Iowa GOP straw poll - PostBulletin.com: Elections.

Iowa: Republicans question Iowa’s key role in presidential balloting | Los Angeles Times

For more than 40 years, Iowa voters have played a vital role in picking the nation’s president, culling the field of hopefuls and helping launch a fortunate handful all the way to the White House. For about 35 of those years, Iowa has been the target of jealousy and scorn, mainly from outsiders who say the state, the first to vote in the presidential contest, is too white and too rural; that its caucuses, precinct-level meetings of party faithful, are too quirky and too exclusionary to play such a key role in the nominating process. Now, a swelling chorus of critics is mounting a fresh challenge to Iowa’s privileged role, targeting especially the August straw poll held the year before the election, which traditionally established the Republican Party front-runner. Increasingly, critics say, the informal balloting has proved a meaningless and costly diversion of time and money. Some GOP strategists are urging candidates to think hard before coming to Iowa at all.

Full Article: rim jpenner - latimes.com.

Iowa: Terry Branstad: Time to kill Iowa Straw Poll | Washington Post

After 33 years, the Ames Straw Poll should be scrapped, says the state’s Republican governor. “I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Gov. Terry Branstad told the Wall Street Journal of the Iowa Republican tradition. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over.” Two years ago, Branstad warned prospective candidates that they shouldn’t skip the event. The straw poll is both a fundraiser and a test of candidates’ strength among Iowa Republican activists. Candidates pay for prime real estate near where the voting takes place; they also often buy tickets for supporters. 

Full Article: Terry Branstad: Time to kill Iowa Straw Poll.

Missouri: Contention, confusion mar Missouri caucuses | USAToday.com

Contention and confusion marred various Republican caucuses in Missouri on Saturday, and one meeting was abruptly shut down, as impassioned supporters of Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul battled for an edge in the state’s complicated delegate selection process. A caucus at a school near St. Louis where roughly 2,500 Republicans had gathered was adjourned before a vote could take place because it got so rowdy that extra police were summoned and two people were arrested for trespassing. Elsewhere, political tensions and divisions led to recounts not only on votes over which candidates should be supported, but even which people should preside over the caucuses. “It looks like a chaotic day around Missouri,” said former senator Jim Talent, a Romney campaign adviser who participated in one of the more politically divided caucuses in St. Louis County.

Full Article: Contention, confusion mar Missouri caucuses – USATODAY.com.

Missouri: Contention, confusion mar Missouri caucuses | USAToday.com

Contention and confusion marred various Republican caucuses in Missouri on Saturday, and one meeting was abruptly shut down, as impassioned supporters of Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul battled for an edge in the state’s complicated delegate selection process. A caucus at a school near St. Louis where roughly 2,500 Republicans had gathered was adjourned before a vote could take place because it got so rowdy that extra police were summoned and two people were arrested for trespassing. Elsewhere, political tensions and divisions led to recounts not only on votes over which candidates should be supported, but even which people should preside over the caucuses. “It looks like a chaotic day around Missouri,” said former senator Jim Talent, a Romney campaign adviser who participated in one of the more politically divided caucuses in St. Louis County.

Full Article: Contention, confusion mar Missouri caucuses – USATODAY.com.

National: Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC straw poll victory | The Hill

Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that Mitt Romney’s campaign may have rigged a straw poll of conservative activists by paying the entrance fee for supporters. Romney beat Santorum by 7 points Saturday in a straw poll of almost 3,500 attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Santorum pointed out that Ron Paul had won the poll in both of the past two years “because he just trucks in a lot of people pays for their ticket, they come in and vote and then leave.” “I don’t try to rig straw polls,” Santorum said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Full Article: Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC straw poll victory - The Hill's Ballot Box.