Iowa GOP moves straw poll to Boone

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Iowa GOP chooses Boone as new site for Iowa Straw Poll.

“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 will move from Ames to Boone this year and will take place on August 8, following a vote by Republican Party board members Thursday morning.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. 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. 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. Now comes the actual details of how the voting will occur,” Kaufmann said. “How are we going to go about being fair to the candidates who decide to participate?

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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