Palin, Perry left off Ames straw poll ballot
July 23rd, 2011
03:58 PM ET
3 years ago

Palin, Perry left off Ames straw poll ballot

(CNN)-Former governors Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman announced they wouldn’t compete at the Ames straw poll in Iowa, but the state GOP added them to the ballot anyway, along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

But former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry – who haven’t yet decided on a presidential bid – were left off.

The Iowa GOP state central committee named nine candidates to the final straw poll ballot announced Saturday.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and then-unannounced Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter secured a spot on the ballot in June by reserving space at the straw poll. Each paid a minimum of $15,000 to rent space outside the arena where the August 13 straw poll will take place.

The Ames straw poll is an early test of candidate strength in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, with the ability to elevate, solidify, or break a candidate’s rank in the GOP field. It is also considered an indicator of who may win the first significant presidential contest.

Critical members of Gingrich’s Iowa campaign resigned shortly before the bidding process for straw poll lots, hampering an already financially-strapped effort to win big in Iowa. Gingrich did not reserve space with other candidates in June.

Huntsman announced he would not compete in Iowa, choosing to focus instead on the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire

Romney, who also sought the GOP nomination in 2008, also stated he'd sit out the straw poll in Ames. Though he won the contest in 2007, Romney fell short of winning the Iowa caucus, which went to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Romney’s straw poll runner-up.

Palin stated she would announce her intention to run–or stay out of the race–in late August or early September. Perry said Friday that he'll make his decision known in the next three to four weeks.

Americans for Rick Perry, an independent group supporting the Texas governor, told CNN that its efforts to get Perry onto the Ames ballot failed. The group's leader,Bob Schuman, told CNN,"The other candidates sure seem to fear Gov. Perry."

Palin and Perry may have been left off the ballot, but straw poll voters will be able to write in their pick for president.

The addition of Romney, Huntsman, and Gingrich to the straw poll ballot is no special practice. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Arizona Sen. John McCain all chose to skip the contest in 2007, but were added to the ballot.

And though he placed 10th, McCain went on to win the 2008 GOP nomination for president, proving that results of the straw poll may not necessarily predict who ends up on top.

Related: Six GOP campaigns land spots for Ames Straw Poll

Related: Romney to sit out Ames Straw Poll


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Perry • Sarah Palin
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. skidder

    Is anyone surprised? They only go with serious contenders and Sarah's a joke.

    July 24, 2011 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  2. DENNA

    So? It's a straw poll people and it's Iowa. I think we need a real state to be the first in these polls, not a cows and corn state. No disrespect, but it is not so goes Iowa so goes the country.

    July 24, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  3. bassman

    This may come back and haunt Iowa as a Palin/ Perry ticket would beat Obama.

    July 24, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  4. bob

    Thus begins her double-time march into obscurity.

    July 24, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  5. bassman

    This may come back to haunt Iowa, as a Palin/Perry ticket would beat Obama.

    July 24, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  6. Shelby

    Two of the biggest "Christian" hypocrites of the far right left off the ballot? Excellent.

    July 24, 2011 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  7. Red State Redneck

    It looks like the GOP has finally realized what everyone else with two braincells to knock together already knew: Palin is unelectable and merely using the "will she or won't she" spotlight to sell more books and tickets to her self-aggrandizing movie.

    July 24, 2011 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  8. EffortPA

    Sarah, it case you need an explanation of what this means, it means that the GOP does not think you have a chance on earth of winning the 2012 Presidential election. However, we former Republicans (since you came along) as well as all the Democrats, would really like you to run. So, don't listen to the GOP and listen to the fire in your belly. Run Sarah, run!

    July 24, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  9. a in austin

    I'd leave Perry out too – he's the devil in disguise!

    July 24, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  10. Barry from Wisconsin

    Who cares what Iowa does with their silly caucuses? That process is not relevant to the rest of the USA.

    July 24, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  11. TommyJohn

    I love how CNN always leads into these types of stories with "Bad News For Palin"...why not bad news for Perry? Anything they can do to attack the woman...how truly sorry.

    Perry and Palin were left off the straw poll because they have not declared their candidacies. It only makes sense that they would not be included in the polling.

    July 24, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  12. EddyL

    Isn't the world sick of this boob yet?

    July 24, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  13. athiesttoo

    Sarah must be so proud that her "DON'T REACT, RELOAD" campaign has reached across the pond and claimed another 93 lives. Way to go Sarah, lets spew forth some more of that right wing, christian conservative rhetoric to incite the whackos out there. How anyone can consider this sicko presidential material is beyond me.

    July 24, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. Isaac

    I'm sure she will find a way to blame it on someone else

    July 24, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  15. MT

    These two should get married and move out of the USA.

    July 24, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Colin

    Is this the "bad news for Palin". No Ames straw poll winner has ever become president. By not being eligible to be in the poll, she avoided spending and wasting $100,000+. Smart Lady.

    July 24, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Aezel

    Hmm before I read this I thought from the headline perhaps she was in trouble because they added an IQ test to the presidential primaries.

    July 24, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. wakiash

    I do believe that is excellent news!

    July 24, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. Alex

    Well that's good. Because neither of these two can compete for the Presidency. They both are for the same status quo for the Neoconservatives. They are only going to lie their way in with broken "Yes We Can" promises.

    America's last hope is Ron Paul

    July 24, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  20. petena

    They were left off just like the voters will do at election time.

    July 24, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. ED FL

    Now this is a TWOSOME that deserve one another. They can be the US representatives to TEXAS when the seceede from the United states.How lucky can we get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Jason

    It's embarrassing that CNN links to this story with a headline "Bad news for Palin."

    July 24, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. newton

    I was left off the ballot too, just so that's clear

    July 24, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Mike

    Well since neither has announced that they will run for President it makes no sense whatsoever to include them in any Presidential polls does it now?
    Might as well put me in that poll because I too have not yet decided whether to run.
    All the media attention paid to people NOT running is simply ridiculous and shows they have nothing better to do with their time.

    July 24, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. pwmcgill

    Did anyone for a minute think that the Iowans were not intelligent, thoughtful folks? Perhaps they see as other intelligent, well informed individuals that these two grandstanders are not really going to run but only attempting to garner the spotlight. As for Mrs. Palin, perhaps the governor as well, she is only feigning to run for the presidency until the very last second. As long as she can keep the media and others interested there exists opportunity for additional financial gain (a real GOPer). She knows that for her the spotlight will be turned off, regardless if she declares or not, to run. She perhaps knows that in reality she will be a somewhat laughable footnote in history very, very soon. An Independent voter advocating fairness for the American middle class.

    July 24, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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