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.”
The rule Ryder references deals with statewide presidential preference voting as established by the national party. He also touched on some of the other issues that have been raised by party leaders around the straw poll, including that it “disadvantages lesser known, lesser funded candidates who may not have the resources to compete effectively,” is a “media-driven event that places too much influence over the Republican primary campaign in the hands of a largely hostile media,” and also is in part “a consultant-driven event that allows professional political operatives to charge substantial fees to help candidates win what is substantially a media ‘beauty pageant.’” Ryder also made the point that “candidates may choose to attend the event without participating in the straw poll or to not attend at all.”
Full Article: The Iowa Straw Poll is Not Dead Yet – Bloomberg Politics.