Steve King handicaps Ames Straw Poll
August 13th, 2011
01:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Steve King handicaps Ames Straw Poll

Ames, Iowa (CNN) - Iowa Rep. Steve King said Saturday that the ideal Ames Straw Poll candidate isn’t running.

“If you had Michele Bachmann as a candidate, and the network that Tim Pawlenty has put together over the last couple of years here, you would have a formidable combination,” the Republican told CNN after he addressed some two dozen supporters in a tent outside the straw poll venue. “But it looks like Minnesota doesn’t get along that well.”

Bachmann and Pawlenty have been doing battle in Iowa for the last two months in the run up to the straw poll, and tensions between the two camps broke out into the open during Thursday’s GOP presidential debate when the two Republicans engaged a series of sharp exchanges about their qualifications to be president.

King said a Bachmann victory in the straw poll would probably be fueled by her natural appeal to grassroots conservatives, not her organizational prowess.

“It’s the force of her personality and herself as a candidate,” said King, a Bachmann ally in the House.

More than 14,000 ballots were cast in the 2007 straw poll. With an energized GOP base and an ideal weather forecast, Iowa Republicans are saying the total could be even higher on Saturday.

King said a low turnout would favor Texas Rep. Ron Paul, long a top performer at straw polls.

“If it’s a low turnout, I think that Ron Paul has been underestimated because he has worked here for five years and he has a loyal group of followers,” he said. “He will get a high percentage of his followers here today.”

A high turnout contest will come down to Pawlenty and Bachmann, he said.

“The measure you want to look at is, has the money and organization that Pawlenty has put together here, is that enough to offset the energy of the Bachmann campaign?,” King asked.


Filed under: 2012 • GOP • Iowa • Steve King
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. windwardtack

    King is a Bachmann supporter and is trying to discount any win by Ron Paul who recently passed Bachmann in the Gallup national poll, moving into third place nationally with 14% behind and in striking distance of Romney and Perry. However, the polls, not just straw polls, are on Ron Paul's side, not King's side. Facts are stubborn things.

    August 13, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Indy

    This reminds me of American Idol last season,it was not won by talent but rather a personality contest. Pawlenty has ten times the credentials and accomplishments over Bachmann, but for some strange reason she is getting support. I am not in any way saying that Pawlenty is POTUS material but Bachmann would be the worst of the worst and maybe even worse then that.

    August 13, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. lynn

    Has King actually heard the ideas Bachmann has tried to run with? Her thought process is empty of substance, like so many other GOP'rs, flowery empty words. On the other hand would be great entertainment to hear a debate between her and Obama. Wonder where her cliffs notes would be, hands have already been used.

    August 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    No need for that Steve - they are ALL mentally handicapped to begin with. The Fascist thinking of the far-right-wing-nuts is enough to gag a maggot. Corporations need to be put in their place - if they want to produce in other countries, let them sell to other countries - and move their families to other countries.

    VOTE DEM or lose every freedom you have.

    August 13, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |