A spokesperson for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Des Moines Register that Bush will opt out of the broadly criticized Iowa Straw Poll and focus on the Feb 1 Iowa caucuses, instead.
While the straw poll has received more than its share of criticism lately, it’s also true that as far as Iowa is concerned, Bush is far from the most popular Republican running for a White House bid.
The Republican Party of Iowa, which hosts the Iowa Straw Poll, has been working to shore up the event’s reputation and lure candidates by addressing some of the most prevalent complaints. Last week, Iowa GOP officials announced they’ll provide free tent space and utilities for the campaigns. The straw poll has been bashed as having outsized importance, even to the point of having losing candidates drop out of the race. Campaigns sometimes spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the straw poll as a sort of dry run for the Iowa caucuses.
Recent polling has shown that Iowa isn’t exactly friendly territory for Bush. He ranked in seventh place out of 14 GOP contenders tested in a April 25-May 4 Quinnipiac University poll. When asked if there is any candidate they would definitely not support, 25 percent of likely Iowa GOP caucusgoers named Bush. That put Bush at the top of that negative list.