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Ames Straw Poll

NATIONAL
August 13, 2011 | By Paul West, Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
On a day that Michele Bachmann scored an early victory in Iowa, Rick Perry scrambled the Republican presidential race by jumping in with a "tea-party"-themed attack on Washington and what he termed President Obama's "rudderless leadership. " Perry's announcement Saturday stepped on Bachmann's triumph in the Ames straw poll, the biggest moment yet in her presidential campaign and a further sign of her appeal in this early-voting state. "It's your victory! You did it!" Bachmann told supporters crowded outside her bus on the Iowa State University campus, the scene of the daylong GOP event.
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NEWS
August 13, 2011
Some quick thoughts on the numbers. . . Michele Bachmann's campaign had been hoping for 6,000-plus votes, so the thin margin over Ron Paul was a bit of a surprise. Tim Pawlenty's campaign talked about finishing near the front of the pack, and he did, but they can't be happy with how far he trailed both Bachmann and Paul. Rick Santorum's finish can be viewed as a sort of a moral victory; he's campaigned hard in Iowa. And as a write-in Rick Perry beat Mitt Romney, who was on the ballot, which can't have pleased Romney's supporters.
NEWS
August 12, 2011 | By Seema Mehta
Sarah Palin crashed into the Iowa State Fair on Friday, eclipsing the GOP presidential candidates who were trying to draw supporters to the Ames Straw Poll the following day. The timing of Palin's visit raised eyebrows among political observers, who have been playing a will-she-or-won't-she-run game for months. It's not the first time the former Alaska governor has stolen the spotlight in politically important moments - earlier this summer she made an appearance in New Hampshire on the same day Mitt Romney officially declared his candidacy there.
NEWS
August 12, 2011 | By James Oliphant
A day before the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, Michele Bachmann seemed to traverse the line from politician to full-blown political celebrity. Careening from event to event in central Iowa, Bachmann arrived for a scheduled speech at the Iowa State Fair 30 minutes late. She then spoke for just three minutes before departing, with many who had been waiting in the baking August sun audibly registering their disappointment. The Minnesota congresswoman's rivals for theGOP nomination, such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, had spoken at length at the so-called “soapbox” at the fair sponsored by the Des Moines Register.
NATIONAL
August 11, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
The news landed with a thud this week. Not a single candidate had hired Hickory Park, the Ames barbecue institution, to provide food for Saturday's Republican presidential straw poll. "That is crazy," said Shane Vander Hart, editor of the political blog Caffeinated Thoughts. "I am assuming that is a mistake on the part of the campaigns. " Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is bringing in barbecue from Minnesota-based Famous Dave's — "but that's just wrong," Vander Hart said.
NEWS
August 11, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Campaigning in Iowa on Thursday, Mitt Romney told a heckler, “Corporations are people, my friend” - words immediately seized upon by Democrats in what they termed as a possible defining statement by the presidential candidate. Romney, speaking to a crowd of hundreds at the Iowa State Fair, was being pressed about raising taxes to help cover entitlement spending. When one mentioned raising corporate tax rates, Romney responded by saying corporations were no different than people.
NEWS
August 11, 2011 | By James Oliphant and Michael A. Memoli
Thursday night's debate on the campus of Iowa State University will be shown on Fox News Channel and will pit eight contenders for the Republican presidential nomination against each other. Expect plenty of Obama-bashing, but the question, as always with events like these, is whether the candidates will violate Ronald Reagan's commandment and take each other on. Here are some things to keep an eye on. 1)      Is Mitt Romney still Teflon? The GOP front-runner had an easy time of it in the first debate, with Tim Pawlenty most famously standing down from challenging Romney on healthcare.
NEWS
August 8, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Iowa will be ground zero for Republican politicking this week ahead of the Ames straw poll this weekend, the latest milepost in the developing presidential nominating race. But as the GOP hopefuls log valuable face time with voters in the early-voting state, Democrats won't be far behind attempting to define the party's candidates as extreme in what is also a likely general election battleground. Local and national Democrats revealed Monday their efforts to counterprogram the high-profile GOP festivities, which will be grounded in the argument that the party's "extreme aims" (pun intended)
NEWS
August 5, 2011 | Shane Goldmacher
Thaddeus McCotter, a congressman from Michigan, wants to be president of the United States and he's ready to use a plastic fork, sugar packets and cut up fruit to get there. The long-shot GOP candidate is protesting his lack of inclusion in an upcoming nationally televised debate by producing a short video, with a shaky handheld camera, in which he wields various kitchen props to make his case. (Watch video below.) Holding up a piece of fruit skewered by a plastic fork, McCotter said he thought that “one of the fruits” of competing in the upcoming Ames Straw Poll in Iowa would be acceptance to the debate.
NATIONAL
July 30, 2011 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Michele Bachmann showed up an hour late to sell herself to voters gathered at the town library the other day. Some had already walked out of the stuffy conference room, peeved at the presidential candidate's tardiness. But those who remained sat enthralled as she illustrated the federal deficit on a whiteboard, writing out a trail of zeros to illustrate the enormity of the nation's debt and delivering a fiery indictment of President Obama. Only after she finished her remarks and was posing for pictures did the Minnesota congresswoman remember her plea: "Don't forget about the straw poll!"
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