Pulling the straw poll?

The Ames straw poll has been good at bringing Republicans together and can create quite a stir in Iowa with presidential candidates and their followers.

It hasn’t been good lately at picking a potential Iowa Caucus winner or the eventual Republican nominee for president.

In 2011 Michele Bachmann won the poll and later Rick Santorum won the Iowa Caucus and Mitt Romney took the Republican nomination.

In 2007, Mitt Romney won the poll and later Mike Huckabee took the Iowa Caucus and John McCain won the Republican nomination.

Many feel the straw poll has run its course, but two area Republican leaders said it can serve a purpose.

Pete Rogers, chair of the Marshall County Republican Central Committee, said there are benefits to the poll and he would like to see it continue.

“The straw poll is great for energizing people and it is great for raising more money for the state party,” Rogers said. “People need to realize it’s a straw poll and there’s nothing scientific about it. It’s not an accurate sentiment of voters.”

Rogers said he does not want to see it go away, but it could be presented in a more reasonable fashion.

“The people putting it on need to present it for what it is,” Rogers said.

State Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Garwin, said the poll has its merit.

“I would be in favor of maintaining it,” Fisher said. “At a minimum, I think it’s a great chance for the party to get together, hear from the candidates and talk about the issues.”

It’s evident the straw poll, and its value, will be talked about by Republicans leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

“It’s early, things change,” Fisher said.

Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or apotter@timesrepublican.com