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Ames Straw Poll

NATIONAL
July 26, 2011 | By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
After a week touring scorching Iowa in his RV, Tim Pawlenty suited up Friday in a "2012" jersey, laced up his black skates and glided onto an ice rink northwest of Des Moines. Before a line of cameras — more than most of his events drew last week — he played pickup hockey with his brother, his Iowa state chairman and some local kids. The presidential candidate wrestled some opponents — adult ones — for the puck against the boards. He took a few missed shots at the goal — once diving and landing flat on the ice. But he also scored, drawing cheers from the bleachers.
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NATIONAL
July 21, 2011 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Four years ago, Mitt Romney was a man on a mission at the Ames Straw Poll, the initial test of a presidential campaign's organizational strength in the state that holds the first voting contest in the nation. He spent more than $1 million on the August event, hiring a fleet of buses to transport thousands of supporters to the Iowa State University campus, paying their $35 entry fees, sheltering them from triple-digit heat in a cavernous tent complete with flat-screen TVs, and feeding them Hickory Park barbeque, a local favorite.
NEWS
July 19, 2011 | By Maeve Reston
Adding some fire to his rivalry with his home-state colleague, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that Michele Bachmann did not have the requisite executive experience to be elected president in 2012. Though he has campaigned intensively here for many months, Pawlenty has been overshadowed recently by the Minnesota congresswoman, who has shot up in the polls. But Pawlenty warned against putting too much stock in Bachmann's surge. “You can't measure these things in one moment in time,” said Pawlenty, who served as Minnesota's governor from 2002 until January.
NEWS
July 18, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
Rick Perry's flirtation with a presidential run may be nearing an end. The Texas governor told the Des Moines Register -- the largest newspaper in the leadoff nominating state -- that he's two to three weeks away from making a decision. That timeframe puts him on track for an announcement in the first weeks of August, a time when the announced Republican contenders will be barnstorming Iowa ahead of the Ames Straw Poll, one of the nominating race's major cattle calls. It also promises to draw even more attention to an Aug. 6 prayer gathering that Perry is hosting at Houston's Reliant Stadium, called: "The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.
NEWS
July 11, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
In a sign that the 2012 presidential race is moving into a new, more discordant phase, Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty exchanged harsh words over their respective capacities to handle the economy. Pawlenty, who, like Bachmann, has his White House hopes pegged to doing well right out of the box in Iowa, triggered the hostilities while on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Calling Bachmann's record as an office-holder “nonexistent,” Pawlenty said, “We're not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities.
NEWS
July 1, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
The GOP presidential field finally has new entrant. It's not Rick Perry. It's not Sarah Palin. It's not Chris Christie. (Keep going.) It's not Jeb Bush. It's not Paul Ryan. Enough? OK. It's Thad McCotter. This is where you ask: Who is Thad McCotter? Good question. McCotter is a conservative Republican congressman from Michigan. He's held his suburban Detroit district for almost a decade, and he says he jumping into the race because he is dissatisfied with the current crop of candidates, from Mitt Romney on down.
NEWS
May 27, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Mitt Romney is spending Friday in Iowa, the site of perhaps his biggest political humiliation three years ago -- a move that suggests his campaign hasn’t given up hope of winning there. It was in the Iowa caucuses in January 2008 where Romney’s White House aspirations suffered a brutal wound at the hands of Mike Huckabee after he had looked the favorite in the state for months. But Huckabee’s not around this time, and Romney doesn’t appear to be entirely writing off the state.
NEWS
May 16, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
Calling Mike Huckabee's decision not to run for president a "momentous" development, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad predicted one of the most wide-open races in the history of the state's leadoff presidential caucuses, and urged candidates to step up their game soon. Roughly three months before an early test of support, the Ames Straw Poll, the Republican governor said Monday that it's "not too late" for candidates to visit, predicting a "deluge" of activity in the near future. "With hard work and retail politics, going to all 99 counties, meeting with people and answering their questions, this is a state where you can effectively launch a campaign," he told reporters.
NEWS
March 24, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli and Paul West, Washington Bureau
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is not denying a report that she will form a presidential exploratory committee this summer, saying Thursday she would aim to formally enter the campaign just ahead of a key test of support in Iowa. With considerable uncertainty about Sarah Palin's future plans, a Bachmann candidacy would ensure the field of candidates seeking to challenge President Obama includes a fiery voice with appeal to "tea party" activists. CNN, citing sources close to the three-term Minnesota congresswoman, reported Thursday morning that she will take the first step toward a White House run in early June so that she could participate in scheduled GOP candidate debates.
NEWS
February 12, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
Ron Paul again triumphed in the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, overwhelming the support for most other potential Republican candidates at the annual gathering of conservatives in the nation's capital. Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas who ran for president in 2008, edged former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 30% to 23%. The result was barely changed from last year's, when Paul won 31% to 22%. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie each had 6% of the vote, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 5%. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who did not speak at the three-day gathering, had 3% of the vote.
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