Every dog has its day

By DeusExMacintosh

Michele Bachmann and corn dog

Candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential race are facing their first key test of grassroots party opinion with a straw poll in Iowa. The poll is not an official primary but winning is considered a major boost.

The front-runner in national opinion polls, ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, is not actively taking part. And Texas Governor Rick Perry may upstage the Iowa poll by announcing his candidacy at a South Carolina event.

The first official Iowa primaries in the race for the White House are still several months away but the non-binding results of Saturday’s straw poll in Ames, Iowa may play an important role in shaping which Republican will take on Barack Obama.

The poll is essentially a state Republican fund-raiser and turnout in the past has ranged from 14,000 to 23,000. With Mr Romney absent from the straw poll ballot, analysts say the key battl may be between Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, who are vying for the social conservative vote.

They clashed in Iowa on Thursday night in the third televised debate of the 2012 Republican race. Mr Pawlenty repeatedly criticised Ms Bachmann’s lack of substantive success in enacting a legislative agenda, and accused her of “making false statements”. Ms Bachmann hit back, accusing Mr Pawlenty of pursuing policies that sound “a lot more like Barack Obama”…

Sarah Palin visited the Iowa state fair on Friday but is not part of the straw poll. Mr Romney, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich have not paid to take part but are still on the ballot list.

The straw poll often sifts out failing candidates but is no guarantee of success. Mr Romney won in 2007 but Mike Huckabee came second and later won the Iowa caucus. John McCain did not take part and won the nomination.

This year’s straw poll is almost as noticeable for its absentees – Mr Perry, who is expected to announce his nomination on Saturday, and Sarah Palin, who has yet to decide on her candidacy.

BBC News

3 Comments

  1. Posted August 14, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    For our many American visitors 😉

  2. Mel
    Posted August 14, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I think DEM has shown admirable restraint by not photoshopping Michelle’s sausage. Cough …

  3. Posted August 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Unnecessary, Mel. On this occasion I couldn’t send her up any higher than she is sending herself (either that or proving she has no business anywhere near a nuclear bomb)…

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