DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s straw poll has been going on since 1979 and is seen as a kick off to the Iowa caucuses. But given its track record some say it’s time to end the straw poll.
Some, including Governor Terry Branstad question its use particularly in predicting who will be the next GOP nominee. Only two winners of the straw poll have gone onto become the GOP presidential nominee. In 2011 former Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann won the straw poll, but dropped out after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses. “What’s most important about this event isn’t the result of the straw poll. It’s the opportunity to meet thousands of potential caucus voters and speak to them on a person by person basis,” said Iowa GOP Communications Director Charlie Szold.
One of the most important reasons the party was considering the change had to do with new rules the Republican National Committee passed after the last Iowa caucuses. Some were concerned the RNC’s new rules prohibited presidential straw polls at fundraising events.
On Friday the RNC approved the event, so it will now be up to the 18 elected state representatives to decide on Saturday.