Governor Branstad continues to say the Iowa Straw poll is losing its importance in the presidential race. Branstad says the candidates will ultimately decide whether or not it stays.
The governor says more and more candidates are choosing not to participate in the straw poll. So it’s not representative of who the state elects in the caucuses. Iowa’s GOP Party chairman A.J. Spiker disagreed with Branstad after he first criticized the straw poll in a Washington Post article last week. Spiker says it’s the best way for a presidential campaign to organize for the caucuses. But Branstad says the way to win the caucuses is in the ground game.
"I think Senator Santorum followed it best," Branstad told reporters at his weekly press conference. "I said go to every county, put together a statewide campaign and go to all 99 counties and meet as many people as you can and build that kind of a statewide organization and I think that is critically important."
The straw poll is traditionally held in Ames a few months ahead of the caucuses.