On June 6, 2007 the campaign of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced it would not participate in the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll.  Reactions:

PRESS RELEASE from John McCain 2008

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2007  Contact: Press Office

Statements From Terry Nelson And Dave Roederer

ARLINGTON, VA - Terry Nelson, Campaign Manager for John McCain 2008 issued the following statement:

"John McCain has built a solid grassroots organization in Iowa and intends to win the state's caucuses.  He appreciates the unique and critical role the caucuses play in the nomination process and enjoys traveling the state, meeting Iowans, and holding town hall meetings.

"In light of today's news, it is clear that the Ames Straw Poll will not be a meaningful test of the leading candidates' organizational abilities, so we have decided to forego our participation in the event."

DES MOINES, IA - Dave Roederer, Iowa Chairman for John McCain 2008 issued the following statement:

"This weekend, Senator McCain will hold his 20th town hall meeting in our state.  His straight talk on the challenging issues facing our country continues to resonate with Iowans and we are confident that his commitment to restraining government spending, protecting traditional values, and defeating Islamic extremists will ultimately lead him to victory in the caucuses."


PRESS RELEASE from Romney for President, Inc.

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007
CONTACT: Kevin Madden

Statement On The Ames Straw Poll

Boston, MA – Today, Romney for President spokesman Kevin Madden issued the following statement on the Ames Straw Poll:

"Governor Romney has put in the time, built the organization and communicated his message to the voters of Iowa.  It's a message focused on bringing conservative change to Washington, and it is resonating with Iowa voters because it matches his record of accomplishment as governor.

"Our plan all along has been to play in the Iowa straw poll, and that hasn't changed.  Campaigns that have decided to abandon Ames are likely doing so out of a recognition that their organizations are outmatched and their message falls flat with Republican voters in Iowa.

"It looks as if we just beat those campaigns in Iowa two months earlier than we had planned on beating them."


PRESS RELEASE from the Republican Party of Iowa

Contact:  Mary Tiffany

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has decided he will not attend the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames on August 11.

The Iowa Straw Poll has historically been an accurate indicator of who will succeed in the Iowa Caucus.  In 1999, the top two finishers went on to receive over 70 percent of the caucus vote.  "It's exceedingly difficult to win on caucus night when you have missed the opportunity to speak to over a third of the caucus-goers at the largest gathering of Republicans in the nation," said Chuck Laudner, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Iowan Jim Nussle, a consultant for the campaign, claims Giuliani can bypass the Straw Poll as a result of his national name I.D.  However, his national name recognition and polling has not helped him build an effective grass-roots organization capable of winning the Iowa Caucuses, let alone the Iowa Straw Poll.

The Republican Party of Iowa is disappointed over his decision, but more so over his lackluster campaign efforts in Iowa.  Giuliani's efforts in the Hawkeye State have also been disappointing for many Iowans who have not had the opportunity to see, hear, meet or question the former New York Mayor.  The Straw Poll would have been an opportunity for Giuliani to show Iowans he is engaged, cares about Iowans' issues and is 100 percent dedicated to Iowa.

Regarding Giuliani's decision, Laudner said, "He was in, he was out, he was in, now he's out.  Who knows.  Maybe he'll change his mind again.  Regardless, his name will be on the Straw Poll ballot in August." 


PRESS RELEASE from Jim Gilmore for President, Inc.

Gilmore Will Join Candidates Bypassing Iowa Straw Poll

June 7th, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, VA – Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore said today his campaign will not participate in the Aug. 11th Iowa straw poll.  Gilmore said today the resources of his campaign will be better utilized if they are instead focused on the Iowa caucuses in January.

Gilmore has made a half dozen trips to Iowa in recent months, has a campaign staff member at work in the state and made the official announcement of his candidacy from Iowa GOP headquarters in Des Moines.

Gilmore said today “unfortunately, the results of the August Iowa straw poll are going to be determined solely by which candidate is willing to spend the most money and will have little to do with the candidate’s conservative appeal to Republican voters.”

The Republican campaigns of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Sen. John McCain have announced they are by passing the August straw poll as well.  Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, a potential candidate, is also reported to be considering not participating in the straw poll.


PRESS RELEASE from Brownback for President, Inc.

June 8, 2007
Contact: Billy Valentine

Brownback will Compete in the Ames Straw Poll
Looks forward to going head-to-head against Mitt Romney

DES MOINES— U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today announced that he will compete in the Ames Straw Poll on August 11, 2007.

"I am excited and honored by the opportunity to participate in the Ames Straw Poll and I reaffirm my intention to compete in Ames," said Brownback.  "I stand in solidarity with the Iowa Republican Party leadership in recognizing the importance of this event.  I look forward to going head-to-head against Mitt Romney.  Iowa voters have a great responsibility and have always been influential in choosing the Republican nominee.  People deserve to know where a candidate stands, and you don't declare yourself the winner before the game is played.  I am confident that my message of uniting social and fiscal conservatives will resonate with Republicans across the Hawkeye State, and especially those attending the Straw Poll."

Brownback challenged Romney and the other candidates participating in the Straw Poll to a series of debates across Iowa that will highlight the candidates' differing stands on the issues prior to the Straw Poll.

"This will be a great contest between a Midwestern conservative farmer and a Northeastern liberal Republican who has flip-flopped on fundamental issues and will find limited support in Iowa as the summer goes on," said Rob Wasinger, Brownback for President campaign manager.  "The Brownback campaign looks forward to this match-up as it will be a great opportunity for Iowa conservatives to decide the direction of our country and our party.  In this regard, we expect to be very competitive."

Brownback made the announcement at his Iowa campaign headquarters in West Des Moines.

Brownback also announced a new website, www.brownbackevents.com, that will help organize his grassroots support for the Straw Poll.  Anyone wishing to attend the Straw Poll can contact the Brownback campaign for a free ticket and bus ride at the web address above or at 515-221-1001.


STATEMENT from Tommy Thompson for President
June 13, 2007

Statement by Governor Thompson on Ames Straw Poll Participation

Statement by the Honorable Tommy Thompson:

From the beginning, a big part of our campaign plan has included the August Straw Poll held in Ames, Iowa. We felt that it would be an opportunity for our campaign to show the strength of our support as well as an opportunity to take our message to a national audience watching on television.

With the recent announcements by Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani that they will not be participating in the straw poll, it’s clear that the competitive landscape has changed.

The straw poll is an expensive exercise even for campaigns with big war chests. Dollars spent on the straw poll are dollars that cannot be spent on direct voter contact. For a campaign to decide to participate in the straw poll means that there are other important campaign activities it cannot participate in.

Nevertheless, the Iowa Straw Poll has become a recent tradition in American campaign politics. During a month with very little hard news, it provides our nation a chance to listen to the major Republican presidential candidates discuss the issues important to the future of our country. The Ames Straw Poll is the best in American politics. More than 20,000 voters from across the state will descend on a town in the middle of Iowa to support their candidate and participate in the greatest electoral system the world has ever known. This is – in every way – a good thing for our country, for Iowa and our Party.

To skip the straw poll is to show fear...fear that a campaign's lack of support will finally be revealed and fear the entire country will see that the king has no clothes.

There's no doubt the stakes are high: eight years ago, four candidates dropped out as a result of the summer straw poll. And with all of the candidates investing heavily in Iowa, candidates who finish in the bottom half of the straw poll should withdraw from the race and support the rest of the field.

I believe the voters of Iowa and voters across the country deserve the chance to hear the uncensored comments of Republicans running for President. If Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain choose not to take advantage of this opportunity, then I think it says more about their campaigns than it does the Iowa Straw Poll.

I will participate in the Iowa Straw Poll on August 11th. We will take our campaign of conservative solutions directly to the people of Iowa and the United States and let the votes fall where they may. Regardless of the outcome on August 11th, at least it will never be said that I was afraid to put my campaign's organization up against the rest. Lets start the race.