During every election cycle, there are particular presidential cattle-call events such as the Iowa Straw Poll and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that draw out GOP presidential candidates. This year appears to be a turning point for these once respected traditions. At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC), GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson walked away with the straw poll win and finishing behind him was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) finished with just 4 percent despite being considered serious contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. While Ben Carson’s victory in the straw poll is positive for his campaign, the larger take away was that serious GOP presidential candidates did not see the value in participating. For a candidate such as Jeb Bush, who already has a solid financial base and a recognizable name, there is much to be lost by investing political capital into a straw poll. Jeb Bush and 2008 GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee have already said that they would not participate in the upcoming Iowa straw poll. Thus, even if Ben Carson also wins the Iowa straw poll, it’s still very unlikely that his name will be on the ballot come election day. Sorry Ben. 

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