The Iowa Straw Poll is Dead

Re-blog. No Iowa Straw Poll this year?

TIME

Iowa Republican Party leaders have put an end to the embattled Iowa Straw Poll after GOP presidential candidates balked at participating.

Dating back to 1979, the state party fundraiser included an informal poll of Iowa voters that in theory was to help narrow the field before the first-in-the-nation caucuses. But the poll had little predictive value and was a clear pay-for-vote scheme, with candidates paying for space at the all-day event and for tickets and buses for their would-be supporters.

Among the candidates that had pledged to skip the straw poll were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 caucuses, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a favorite to win the caucuses, had delayed making a decision, hoping that party leaders would kill it.

In 2011, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty through all his eggs into winning the straw poll…

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