In a new op-ed in Politico, Iowa Republican Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann explained the recent decision by the state party to move the famed Straw Poll out of Ames and to the Central Iowa Expo later this year. While the decision was first announced back in early March, Kaufmann’s new op-ed explains the rationale behind it here for the first time.
“What is supposed to be a fun opportunity for Iowans and presidential candidates has turned into a high-stress and expensive endeavor,” wrote Kauffman. “Some candidates have expressed concerns about the cost, and Iowans have said they’d like to see the Straw Poll get back to its roots.”
He said he agrees that the straw poll should be fair and affordable for every single presidential candidate.
“The Iowa Straw Poll has grown into one of the largest grassroots events on the presidential nomination calendar, drawing tens of thousands of Caucus-going activists mere months before they’ll cast a Caucus vote,” said Kaufmann.
He said a consequence of the growth is the cost for candidates and the Iowa GOP to host the event.
“Simply put, it is time to relegate the pay-to-play nature of the Iowa Straw Poll to the dustbin of history,” noted Kaufmann.
He joked the Iowa GOP will leave the pay to play politics to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
In order to make these changes, the Iowa GOP has made it so campaigns will get a free space at the Iowa Straw Poll and moved the event from Ames to the Central Iowa Expo.
The Iowa Straw Poll is planned for August 8th in Boone.