by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — The winner of the Republican straw poll in Iowa in August has always gone on to capture the president primary victory the next year in the nation’s first presidential contest. However, Rudy Giuliani’s campaign says the pro-abortion ex-mayor plans to skip the straw poll but still compete in the caucuses.
"We’ve made a decision as a campaign not to play in any straw polls this year, most notably, obviously, the Ames straw poll," Giuliani’s national campaign manager Mike DuHaime told the Des Moines Register.
"We are 100 percent committed to winning the Iowa caucuses. We’re going to take the resources that would have been spent in the straw poll and we’re going to dedicate all of them toward organizing for the January caucuses," he added.
The August 11 straw poll is normally considered a must for candidate who want to seriously compete in Iowa and it will see tens of thousands of Republicans from across the state cast non-binding ballots for the candidates they like best at the time.
Other candidates have their straw poll operations in full swing, especially those at the lower end of the current polls who hope to use the event to increase their chances of making a good showing in the caucus next year.
Skipping the Iowa caucus could be a problem for Giuliani, who is already seeing his support erode there as his pro-abortion position turns off pro-life Republicans.
An average of the last five polls conducted in Iowa shows Mitt Romney with 20 percent, John McCain with 19 percent and Rudy Giuliani with 18.6 percent. McCain has led in two of the last five surveys while Romney has led in three of the five.
A Des Moines Register poll from mid May even finds Giuliani dropping down to third behind the other two GOP candidates.