Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he supports a regional system of fundraising forums and events for GOP presidential candidates in 2015 rather than the traditional Ames straw poll in August as a way to raise money, allow Republicans to meet the party hopefuls, and preserve Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
The Republican governor told reporters his foremost goal is to preserve the lead-off position of the Iowa precinct caucuses in the presidential selection process, and to do that, he believe party leaders should retool the approach in a way that welcomes all candidates and gives Republicans in all parts of the state an opportunity to participate.
A.J. Spiker, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, issued a statement Monday regarding the governor’s comments and the future of the Ames straw poll saying “Whether or not to have the Iowa Straw Poll is a matter that will be decided in 2015 by the State Central Committee and the presidential candidates. Any talk prior to then is simply premature.”
What do you think of Branstad’s proposals? Do you think Iowa’s straw poll is a significant political event that needs to be preserved?