Republican Party of Iowa's Official Presidential Straw Poll
Ames, IA   August 14, 1999
Copyright 1999 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All rights reserved.

"We must regain our confidence about what our party should stand for.  We must be the party of lower taxes and smaller government, pro-family and pro-life, rebuilding America's defenses, and standing with the average guy on Main Street in America."                    [transcript]


The Tent Scene

About 20 buses brought Bauer supporters from around the state to Ames.  Upon arrival, the campaign provided its backers with green baseball caps.  There was a special play area for kids, and a large elephant constructed by Russell Kress of Rowley, Iowa graced the edge of the site.  Because the Bauer site was quite far out from the Coliseum, his forces deployed a small fleet of golf carts to move people around in. 

Featured entertainment was the Grammy-nominated recording group 4HIM.  The Waterloo group Master's Voice also performed and Kenny McCoy, father of the septuplets, sang a couple of songs. Hy-Vee catered the food, which included pork sandwiches, baked beans and potato chips. 

Through summer 1999 the Bauer campaign had not been attracting much notice nationally.   Although one expects that Bauer's strong pro-life views will allow him to tap into the same social conservative voters who gave Pat Robertson a second place finish in the 1988 Iowa caucuses, he has not run for office before so this will be the first concrete test of his appeal. 

Bauer made a number of trips to Iowa in 1998 on behalf of the Family Research Council and for his political action committee, the Campaign for Working Families.  In August 1998, Bauer signed up Marlys Popma, a veteran Iowa political operative, to work for CWF.  CWF also ran several media campaigns in Iowa, including one in September 1998 in which Bauer called on Clinton to resign.  From Jan. 1, 1999 to July 30, 1999 Bauer spent 21 days in Iowa, including a four-day "Advancing America's Values Whistlestop Iowa Bus Tour." 
(August 12, 1999) Gary Bauer stopped in to look at a butter sculpture of The Last Supper at the Iowa State Fair. Bauer talked with fairgoers.

Outcome: Fourth--2,114 Votes (8.9%)
Bauer was one of the big winners of the evening, as his fourth place finish set him ahead of Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes and Dan Quayle in the battle for the support of social conservatives.

Bauer spokesperson Tim Goeglein explained the results thusly:
"These results show that Gary is the leading conservative.  He is the conservative with momentum and he is the conservative to watch.  The fact that he came in so far ahead of Lamar and Keyes and Quayle is extremely significant, very much so.  The fact that we finished ahead of Buchanan, and significantly ahead of Buchanan, actually means a lot... Pat has run here twice; Pat has run here twice, he has repeated surprised in Iowa and he didn't surprise tonight."