Palin, Perry left off Ames straw poll ballot
July 23rd, 2011
03:58 PM ET
12 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. Glenn

    It may be bad news for Mrs. Palin but it's great news for America. That being said, if someone hasn't declared their candidacy they shouldn't be on the poll, period. Not too difficult to understand. By the same token, everyone who has declared should be on the poll, including Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who has more original ideas and is not beholden to a single special interest or PAC than any of the other posers on the list. What a shame.

    July 24, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. UpChuck.Liberals

    Straw poll. Where bused in participants are encouraged to get in line, vote, and return to the back of the line to vote again....and again...and again....HC

    Sounds like Chicago

    July 24, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Wise1Speak


    It is high time these state political committees begin holding politicians accountable and force them off the fence. Either politicians are running or they are not. Stop stringing voters along. They are in or out. I'm glad Perry and Palin were not included in the Ames Straw Poll. And I don't they should be included in any polls until they officially declare their candidacy. Nothing less!

    July 24, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. DENNA

    @ Seattle Sue – Sarah and Elmer Gantry won't be happy about being left out.
    Good one! I had forgotten about the Elmer Gantry character played by Burt Lancaster many years ago. Rick does resemble him in that character. 🙂

    July 24, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. vel

    we know that Palin isn't serious. Being president would require work and this woman is evidently allergic to it. Perry knows that his ties to radical Christian groups that intend on subverting and taking over the US government will kill his chances. That International House of Prayer and this prayer meeting he wants to have will kill any chance he has. Poor thing, and I know he prayed so hard too.

    July 24, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Miguel

    Great that Palin is losing clout, she got her 15 min of fame, time for her to fade away or become a talk show host.

    As for the posters above who said she expected to be annointed and appointed rather than elected....
    I think your hand slipped and wrote Palin into an old Obama post, if anyone was set up as the second coming of the messiah... it was Obama

    ...and that annointing thing is not always a good thing, so many expected Obama to be the savior, that is has been a real let down that he is only a man, and a mediocre president so far.

    July 24, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. BCA

    News, in general, should be about things that are happening, instead of things that aren't.

    July 24, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. CEL1

    bad news for P & P, good news for We The P..................Oh, and bad news for The Gingrich Who Stole The Constitution......

    July 24, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. SixDegrees

    Palin won't run. She'll keep dropping hints that she will in order to keep the spotlight shining in her direction, but she's not going to jeopardize her status as a political pundit – and the revenue stream that brings – by entering a race and being trounced.

    She will claim that the system is broken, and "conspired" somehow to keep her out of the race, then spend months prattling on about how she "could have one" if she had run.

    It sells more books and high-priced speaking engagements that way.

    July 24, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Republicans should start backing some serious candidates and start distancing themselves from these beauty queen nutcases.

    July 24, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Madtown

    Kudos to the Ames Straw Poll! Good for you, for not following the lead of the media, and pandering to Palin. She's only in this to max out her unfortunate celebrity, and to soak up as much $$$ as she can while this lasts. She's an embarrassment to the country, and thanks again for not playing her game.

    July 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Duane Kimball

    Iowa has made themselves irrelevant by catering to the far, far, far right by a tiny, tiny, tiny number of voters. The media is no longer even wasting their $$$ by sending their good reporters or equipment. New Hampshire is now the event to watch. The two P's in a pod (Palin and Perry) need not even show up there. For the sake of Obama's re-election bid, it would be great to see either them or Michele Bachman get the Republican nod. However, that is too much for which to hope.

    July 24, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. ks

    bobcat2u-you beat me to it 🙂

    July 24, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Martin

    Good. The media need to stop pandering to the Palin "I might be running" circus, and focus on people who really ARE running.

    Leave Palin out of the media spotlight until she makes a decision, if the decision is NOT to run, then leave her out of the spotlight, forever.

    I'm very happy that these folks have the guts to leave her out of their poll, although I'm sure she will strongly criticize the decision as bias against her campaign.

    July 24, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Occupation

    Perry/Palin 2012 – 4 more years for Obama – BRING IT ON

    July 24, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Occupation

    Palin and Perry both parasites, feeding off ignorance and greed, enough said.

    July 24, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. nowar

    bad news for palin, agreed, good news for all of us. we are much safer as she moves farther away from the white house. maybe she and herr bachmann can write books together and forget about politics.

    July 24, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. sue

    Haven't heard to much from Palin lately.....she laying low through all this debt stuff, cause she knows she has no solutions or ideas so she will wait till all this passes over and then come out and repeat what other GOP or Tea Party members say and start up her "Trash talk about this President".....same old stuff, over and over and over again and again and again.......

    July 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    It would not make sense to put someone's name on a ballot if he or she has not actually announced as a candidate.

    July 24, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. nowar

    reading these comments....why is there so much hate from the right when rove declared God was on the side of the republicans? the Lord that i worship would have nothng to do with this hate. He says that it is the Father who will judge, not man. any more, i see the far right as being a bunch of i am a conservative.

    July 24, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Palin Power

    At the end of the day, Sarah Palin will be our next and greatest President. This country needs President Palin for she will completely right all the wrongs of all EPIC FAIL male Presidents from Washington to Obozo.

    July 24, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. JPX

    NEver in a million years would Palin run for President. Although she's a dope, she's smart enough to know that there's much more money to be made in reality television, vapid books, Fox appearances, and giving speeches than being the President. She also knows on some level that she's not bright enough to be the President. From what I can tell her 15 minutes are just about up.

    July 24, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Positive

    First, why should anyone who hasn't declared themselves as a candidate, expect to be in any polls? Why are we even talking about them.

    Secondly, I wouldn't vote for either of them (nor any of the other declared GOP candidates) anyway. Not a single one has the qualities needed for the job.

    July 24, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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