Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter is heading to Iowa for the Ames Straw Poll. McCotter, a Livonia Republican campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination, will be competing in the statewide 'poll' this weekend.
“But it's really not a poll at all - and it's certainly not scientific,” the Associated Press reports. “Rather, it's a fundraiser for the state GOP and a day long political festival at Iowa State University. Presidential candidates make speeches and try to lure the most supporters to the event - with promises of food, live music and, sometimes, a lift to the site - in hopes of getting their backing in a nonbinding vote," the AP notes.
From the Detroit News:
McCotter and his Iowa strategist, Christopher Rants, say they don't know how he'll do in the Ames Straw Poll.
McCotter won't bus in voters or give them the $30 tickets needed to vote, as some candidates will. Nor has he run TV or radio ads in the Hawkeye state.
What McCotter will have in Amesisa tent where he will give away copies of his book, "Seize Freedom," and hand out Iowa's Blue Bunny ice cream.
"We could come in dead last,"Rantssaid. "This is an opportunity to meet a lot of folks and make a first impression. The only thing that will upset me is if we can't give away the ice cream."
Though McCotter will be a part of the straw poll, he won’t appear on stage at a debate preceding it. From the DesMoinesRegister.com:
This year, the debate… is gathering some wool as at least two candidates contest their exclusion…
Fox News has… poll-axed Thaddeus McCotter, a Michigan congressman, even though the debate co-sponsors, the Republican Party of Iowa, approved criteria that included him. Fox News’ criteria require candidates to register a campaign or exploratory committee with the FEC and meet all U.S. constitutional requirements. They also must garner “at least an average of 1 percent in five national polls, based on most recent polling leading up to the registration day.”
The Republican State Central Committee voted last month to include in the debate any candidates who are on the Aug. 13 straw poll ballot. McCotter was the only one who purchased space at the straw poll who has not qualified for the debate.