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.
"To all those internationalists and globalists, whether they be in Washington or up at the U.N. or in Bonn or Paris or Tokyo or New York, let me tell you something.  When I raise my hand to take that oath of office as president of the United States, your New World Order comes crashing down."   [transcript]


The Tent Scene

Every mile or so on the highway from Des Moines to Ames--a distance of more than 30 miles--members of the Buchanan Brigades had placed a couple of Buchanan signs along the roadside; they also placed an impressive number of signs in Ames, although officials started taking some of those down.  Maurice's Gourmet Barbeque of West Columbia, South Carolina provided what may have been the best food at the straw poll. Buchanan spoke to Teamsters gathered nearby and received an enthusiastic response.

In the 1995 Ames Straw Poll, Buchanan finished third behind Dole and Gramm with 1,922 votes (18.1%).  In the Feb. 1996 Iowa caucuses, Buchanan did one better, finishing second with 22,512 votes (23.3%), close behind Bob Dole, who gained 25,378 votes (26.3%). 

However, unlike other prospective GOP presidential candidates who cultivated the Iowa grassroots during 1997 and 1998, Buchanan gave no signs that he was interested in making a third run for the White House in 2000.  He made one visit to Iowa in all of 1998 to promote his book The Great Betrayal.  

By the time Buchanan announced his candidacy on March 1, 1999 some of his supporters had committed to other campaigns.  Nonetheless Buchanan threw himself into Iowa to recharge his Brigades.  In late June he held five days of volunteer meetings around the state; in July he made a couple of trips featuring numerous stops at restaurants and cafes. 

Buchanan's late start, the sense that he'd already had a couple of runs at the White House, and persistent rumors that he was considering leaving the Republican Party, possibly to run on the Reform Party, could erode his base of support from earlier showings.

(August 11, 1999) Pat Buchanan visited Doyce Blomquist's hog farm near Adel shortly before the straw poll .

Outcome: Fifth--1,719 Votes (7.3%)
Buchanan supporters were somewhat disappointed with his fifth place finish at Ames.  The 1,719 votes for Buchanan placed him behind newcomer Gary Bauer in the battle for the social conservative vote.