Obviously, I’m biased in any RedState Gathering / Iowa Straw Poll contest…

…but why does the Iowa GOP even want to split their straw poll off from the Iowa State Fair? I can sort of get the idea that the state Republican party may be a little upset with RedState: after all, we routinely daydream about a wonderful world where agriculture subsidies and ethanol mandates are history. But shifting the time and venue of the Iowa Straw Poll so that it interferes with the RedState Gathering still seems a little… petty.

I know, I know: the Iowa GOP will undoubtedly claim that we were completely irrelevant to their decision-making process.  Some of them might even believe it.  But there’s a certain percentage of that state’s party infrastructure that has never forgiven RedState for upstaging them in 2012 with Rick Perry’s announcement. And, let’s face it: Iowa is bad at picking the Republican nominee. Which is something else that the Iowa GOP doesn’t seem inclined to forgive us for mentioning.

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.

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

Continue reading End the Iowa GOP Ames Straw Poll!

Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll.

By a significant amount:

[Herman] Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who charmed the three-day Republican conference’s delegates, took 37.1 percent of the vote, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry second with 15.4 percent.

The rest of the results: Mitt Romney, 14 percent; Rick Santorum, 10. 9 percent; Ron Paul, 10.4 percent; Newt Gingrich, 8.4 percent; Jon Huntsman, 2.3 percent; and Michele Bachmann 1.5 percent.

The very quick take: excellent news for Cain, who generally shone in Thursday’s debate. Bad news for Perry, as he was actively trying to win this race (and did not shine in Thursday’s debate). Romney’s people are currently telling themselves and the media that it is not equally bad news for Romney, as he didn’t try to win this poll; which is true, but it’s bad news for Romney nonetheless. As Karl over at Hot Air notes, from Mitt’s point of view the race comes down to Romney vs. Non-Romney… and from what I’m seeing, the GOP base is more or less in agreement that they’d like not-Romney, thanks. For everybody else… this poll taunts Santorum, embarrasses Paul, and the rest should just go home. As should Santorum and Paul, frankly. Continue reading Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll.