Straw Poll: future uncertain - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Straw Poll: future uncertain

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 The outlook on the Iowa straw poll is uncertain.

Representatives for different candidates met in Des Moines this week to discuss its future.

Some people say at this point, it's unlikely anyone is going.

Ben Carson is the only one RSVPing "yes" to the poll.

Donald Trump says he'll go if he runs.

Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio are out, and Rand Paul, George Pataki, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker haven't given strong signals either way.

Put it this way -- if the straw poll was a little kid's birthday party, there would be a lot of leftover cake.

"I think a lot of the campaigns are just looking at what everyone else is doing, rather than being excited about recruiting supports to Ames, they're looking at what other people are doing, thinking do we need to spend this much then?" said KWWL political analyst Chris Larimer.

With Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee among others already thumbing their nose at the event, some say its no secret the poll is losing its relevancy.

And experts say a previous candidate is partially to blame -- Michele Bachmann.

"Michele spent a ton of money busing people to the straw poll and hosting people with entertainment in an air conditioned tent - she set the precedent that you don't have to be the most qualified person in the race or the one with the best credentials rather you have to be willing to spend the money," said GOP activist Josh Wilson.

And experts say top tier candidates really don't feel the need to spend that kind of money, especially when the winners of the most recent straw polls, namely Bachmann, never went on to win the caucus--let alone the candidacy.

Still, Republican leaders maintain the tradition will be kept alive.

"I believe there will be straw poll on August 8. I believe candidates will be there. I think candidates that are still deliberating over this -- It's important to remember 4 years ago when I was chair - at this point in the process we didn't have any public commitments for the Straw Poll either," said former Republican Party Iowa Chair Matt Strawn.

The teams in attendance at that meeting  besides Ben Carson included reps from Trump, Christie, Cruz, Graham, Fiorina and Perry.

But they made it clear just because they had a chat, doesn't mean they plan on participating.








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