The Corner

Politics & Policy

This Year’s Iowa Straw Poll Is Canceled.

Hey, remember everything you heard about this year’s Iowa straw poll? Never mind.

The Iowa Straw Poll is dead.

The governing board for the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously Friday to cancel the straw poll, a milestone on the path to the White House that had passed the strategic tipping point. It was no longer a political risk for presidential campaigns to walk away from the straw poll, and too many of the 2016 contenders had opted to skip it for it to survive.

Charlie Szold, communications director for the Republican party of Iowa, told me in May with absolute certainty that the Straw Poll would occur as scheduled. He said campaigns were already inquiring about participating

Some campaigns have already quietly told the Iowa GOP they’re interested in participating, according to Charlie Szold, communications director for the Republican party of Iowa. “We are pretty much where we expect to be on our schedule, maybe even a little ahead of schedule,” says Szold.

“The usual marker of the kickoff of the straw poll was the auction for space, and that was usually held in mid to late June. This year we’re holding the lottery for space, and we’ll be holding it in early June. You’ll know, if not with 100 percent certainty, then with 90 percent certainty, who’s participating in the straw poll then.”

Szold wasn’t lying; he went with the best information he had at the time. But clearly, enough campaigns concluded the event just wasn’t worth expending the resources.

And that led to a story about what the straw poll could mean to Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign. Cruz’s people didn’t want to talk about what they planned to do for the straw poll; now the question is moot. 

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