JUST IN: Iowa Straw Poll canceled, GOP cites waning interest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

JUST IN: Iowa Straw Poll canceled, GOP cites waning interest

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Rick Santorum signs Naomi Leinen's purse at the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll. Michelle Bachmann won that contest, but Santorum won the 2012 Iowa Caucus. Rick Santorum signs Naomi Leinen's purse at the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll. Michelle Bachmann won that contest, but Santorum won the 2012 Iowa Caucus.
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The Iowa Straw Poll has been canceled this year.

According to the Iowa GOP Central Committee, it was decided Friday morning to cancel the August event.

It was originally planned for Aug. 8 in Boone.

“I've said since December that we would only hold a Straw Poll if the candidates wanted one, and this year that is just not the case," said Jeff Kaufmann, Chairman of the Iowa GOP Central Committee.

Kaufmann says while this step can be viewed as distasteful to those who love the Iowa Straw Poll, it's necessary to strengthen the state's first-in-the-nation status.

According to the committee's release, members have been listening to Iowa activists all year as well as Republicans candidates.

While there was considerable support to keep the tradition that started in 1979, several top presidential candidates had said they were planning to skip the event.

Other critics of the Straw Poll have said it's too costly. Some call it a "sideshow," getting away from its true goal of testing presidential candidates.

The State Central Committee says it did not take the decision lightly, but ultimately decided to not go forward with it this year with a unanimous vote.

Kaufmann said Friday he believes in "hosting a process that puts our candidates in the best position possible to win the White House in 2016."
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