Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Blog

After last night’s surprisingly entertaining Republican Presidential debate, make sure to watch the would-be Republican presidential nominees compete this weekend at the Ames Straw Poll, which is being billed as the first real glimpse of each contender’s electability in the crucial state of Iowa.

The straw poll, started in 1979, is only held in years without a Republican presidential incumbent, and consists of a somewhat bizarre ritual where attendees of the Iowa Republican Party’s fundraising dinner choose their preferred candidate. The event is open to minors and non-residents, and voters must purchase a $30 entry ticket, which is often gifted by candidates to their supporters. Candidates try to sway attendees with trinkets, concerts, and food, and the entire affair has a somewhat carnival-like atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, the straw poll is notoriously inaccurate, only once succeeding in unequivocally predicting the Republican primary winner. Regardless, it’s a good chance to observe the Republican presidential candidates in a more informal setting, and it should be a lot of fun to watch.

Michelle Bachmann’s tent will feature performances by country music stars Randy Travis, Tim Rushlow, Richie McDonald, and Charles Billingsley.

Not to be outdone, Herman Cain will be performing a duet with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Tim Pawlenty, fresh off a strong showing at the Iowa debate, also has entertainment lined up: former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Rick Santorum, the controversial former Senator with a serious google problem, will be providing home-made “Presidential Peach Preserves,” which guests can enjoy while listening to Santorum’s musical guest:  former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Front-runner Mitt Romney, despite a resounding victory at the last Straw Poll, has decided to skip the event altogether. Maybe his people couldn’t book former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee?

In any case, be sure to watch the event this weekend, and tell us what you think!

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