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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll Results!

Via Conservapedia:

The Ames Straw Poll, known more widely as the Iowa Straw Poll, is the most prominent Republican presidential straw poll. The Straw Poll, sponsored by the Iowa GOP, is held at Iowa State University the August before any Republican presidential primary. Although the straw poll is a non-binding political activity, it has been used as a measuring stick of the viability of candidates presidential bid. The Ames Straw Poll, which charges $35 for each admission, also acts as a fund raising event for the Iowa Republican party. Voting is open to all party affiliations[1]. Along with the straw poll, attendants are invited to somewhat of a carnival; including barbecues, inflatable playground equipment for kids, music, and supporters rallying for their candidates[2].

Because of the significance of the straw poll, primary candidates have spent large sums of money purchasing pre-paid ballots for supporters. In 2004, Steve Forbes and George W. Bush each spent over $2 million on tickets and activities for the Iowa Straw Poll[3]. The Iowa Straw Poll has also been a hive for media, with over 250 news organizations on hand during the 1999 straw poll.

The Iowa Straw Poll has acted as a means of narrowing down Republican primary contestants. Lower tier candidates are forced to place high in the straw poll in order to keep up funding from supporters. In 1999, Lamar Alexander ended his primary campaign just two days after the Iowa Straw Poll. In October of the same year, Elizabeth Dole also cut short her campaign after not living up to her supporters expectations in the Iowa Straw Poll[4].

The 2007 Iowa Straw Poll was won by former Massachusetts' Governor Mitt Romney. Conservative Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, placed second in the straw poll of over fourteen thousand Iowa voters.

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