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The 2016 Ames Straw Poll is a go, and everyone is conflicted about it


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the-2016-iowa-straw-poll-is-a-go-and-everyone-is-conflicted-about-itHot Air:

Noah Rothman

January 9, 2015


The Republican National Committee has caved. Despite widespread criticism of the Ames Straw Poll, a first-in-the-nation contest in which Republican candidates vie for bragging rights associated with a victory, the GOP determined that the poll could go forward again in 2016.


There were reservations. The Republican National Committee has been concerned about the straw poll’s increasing failure to reflect the ultimate preferences of Iowa’s Republican voters (which, for that matter, often fail to reflect the preferences of Republican voters nationally). In 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) emerged from Ames victorious. In 2007, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took the top slot. Neither would go on to win the Iowa caucuses or the party’s nomination.


Local Republicans, too, were concerned over whether the straw poll was worth the risk to the state’s reputation and, thus, its coveted position on the primary calendar. Others complain that it is too expensive for candidates with limited resources to compete in this early contest, and not worth the funds or energy demanded of the candidate who does want to participate. Even the state’s longtime governor, Terry Branstand, has criticized the straw poll and endorsed giving up on 36-year-old institution.



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