Just the facts, m'am, just the facts......the Ames Straw Poll is open to any resident of Iowa (or student at an Iowa college/university) who likes barbecue, is at least 16 and 1/2 years old, can get to Iowa State University on Aug. 13, and can pay the $30 entry fee. Republican candidates and their campaign organizations can recruit Straw Poll participants throughout the state and pay their expenses. In 2007 there were approximately 2.25 million Iowans of legal voting age. In the 2007 Straw Poll, a total of 14,302 Iowans voted for their Republican presidential pick: Mitt Romney, the winner, received 4,516 votes.............John McCain, the ultimate GOP presidential candidate, received 101 votes.
The Ames Straw Poll doesn't even remotely resemble an election. The unfastidious and perniciously indiscriminate news media transform the Straw Poll from an all-American political BBQ event in Iowa to a national Punch & Judy show without the redeeming slapstick. It is not a hallmark of democracy.