End the Iowa GOP Ames Straw Poll!

I’m with Governor Branstad: the Ames Straw Poll is uselessness on stilts, and it drags out the primaries for a whole freaking year.

Eyeing the wreckage of the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, which Rep. Michele Bachmann won only to fizzle as a candidate soon after, Mr. Branstad wants to do away with the whole thing.

β€œI think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Mr. Branstad said of the 33-year-old GOP ritual. β€œIt has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over.”

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#rsrh On the road: Debate thoughts.

I’m traveling today for the RS Gathering, so this is going to be a limited reaction. Short version: there were three people at Ames last night who are running for President, and last night didn’t really do much to change the situation. Bachmann showed last night that she doesn’t take a punch well, but she got hit with a doozy of a question from the moderator which made up for it. Pawlenty threw better punches, but he ticked some people off by going after Bachmann. And Romney kept his head down – which was not the smart thing to do, on the eve of a major shakeup of the campaign.

Put a gun to my head and I say that Pawlenty did best, but then I am unimpressed with Bachmann’s record myself and I wish that Romney had a different one. Take it as you will.