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The Iowa Straw Poll Will Go On

n this Aug. 13, 2011 file photo, Republicans enter Hilton Coliseum before casting their ballots in the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. There’s a whole year of campaigning, positioning and politicking to go before the next campaign for president kicks off with the Iowa Caucus in early 2016. Here’s a look at 10 things to look out for next year that might tell us something about how that campaign to come (which is really already underway) may shake out. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)\n

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republicans in Iowa have decided to carry on with their presidential straw poll, a political tradition that detractors decry as a sideshow.

Despite criticism from some prominent Republicans, the Republican Party of Iowa's central committee unanimously voted Saturday to keep the event going.

In this Aug. 13, 2011 file photo, Republicans enter Hilton Coliseum before casting their ballots in the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Committee members said the poll energizes the party base and serves as an important early test of campaign strength. The event will be held in August.

First conducted in 1979, the Iowa straw poll has grown from a county GOP fundraiser stop to a large event on the Iowa State University campus, where candidates spend heavily to entertain supporters.

One last thing…
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