Iowa GOP moves straw poll to Boone

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Iowa GOP moves 2015 straw poll to Boone.

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers: * The Ames Straw Poll will happen this year, but for the first time, it won’t be in Ames. “Iowa’s agricultural background has always captured the national imagination, and we feel the Central Iowa Expo will help us showcase this heritage,” Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a press release. “This venue also allows us to keep ticket prices affordable, ensuring families from across Iowa can participate in this one-of-a-kind event.” The announcement ends speculation about the future of the straw poll, which has long been held in nearby Ames, and been criticized for being an unreliable predictor of who will ultimately win the GOP presidential nomination.The Iowa Straw Poll, a tradition loved but sometimes loathed by Republican presidential candidates, will take place Aug. 8 in Boone, the state party announced on Thursday.

In this Aug. 13, 2011, file photo, Republicans enter Hilton Coliseum before casting their ballots in the Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa.(Photo: Charlie Neibergall, AP) Aug. 8 is the date for the carnival-like political gathering, which the state GOP hosts every four years, the summer before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, to raise money for the party and showcase the presidential candidates. The high-profile Republican cattle call has been a staple in presidential politics for decades, giving candidates eager to prove their electability in the key early-voting state. Held since 1979 on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, the all-day political jamboree, which is part county fair, part Republican convention, was put up for bid this year. Less clear are which GOP candidates will choose to compete in the contest. * Speaking of Iowa, a senior adviser on Jeb Bush’s team is already managing expectations. “If we lose Iowa, we’re fine,” the unnamed staffers said yesterday. “If [Scott Walker] loses Iowa, he’s done.” * And speaking of Jeb Bush, as the former governor continues to more closer to his presidential campaign, he’s ending his private-sector dealings. This week, the shift includes “selling ownership stakes in Jeb Bush & Associates … and in Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation.” * Kentucky is one of three states hold gubernatorial elections this year, and according to SurveyUSA, state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is the early favorite.

In hypothetical general election match-ups, Conway leads each of his likely Republican challengers by margins ranging from 2 to 19 points. * In Wisconsin, the latest PPP survey shows former Sen. Candidates bus in supporters and pay their entrance fees, assuring that the winner is often the best-organized and best-funded, not the most popular with an honest sample of likely caucus-goers. Ron Johnson (R), with the Democrat leading, 50% to 41%. * As if the race for the Democratic nomination in the Maryland Senate race weren’t competitive enough already, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is reportedly “on the verge” of kicking off his own campaign. * Over the last nine years, Florida’s Charlie Crist has run for governor twice and the U.S. In January, Iowa GOP officials voted to keep alive the controversial event despite heaps of criticism, including that it tarnishes the reputation of Iowa’s premier presidential vote, the caucuses, and that it prematurely winnows the field before rank-and-file voters have a chance to participate.

Marco Rubio (R) likely to give up his seat, Crist is considering another statewide race in 2016. * And Texas won’t hold its presidential primary until next March, but Rand Paul is already opening his first field office in the Lone Star State this week. And although the event has become easy to skip for the frontrunners — two eventual GOP nominees chose not to participate in the cycle in which they were nominated — it’s a way for lower-tier candidates to snag some attention.

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