Iowa Republicans could do away with political tradition

A group of Republicans, both inside and outside Iowa, are looking to get rid of or amend a political tradition in the Hawkeye State.

The Iowa Straw Poll occurs every election cycle in August on the Iowa State Campus in Ames, Iowa. While the poll has no official effect on the next primary election, its primary function is to serve as a fundraiser for the party. It also boosts the local economy, creates buzz for the Republican Party and its caucus and generates media attention.

Right now, there is a slight majority of those in favor of keeping the Straw Poll in the Republican state central committee. However, that could change during district conventions in 2014.

Meanwhile, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is in favor of at least amending the process, perhaps into several regional events.

"We have, with our caucus and the way that happened, looked at a task force in rethinking that," said Trudy Caviness, Chair of the Wapello County Republican Party. "So maybe this is an ideal time to rethink the whole process. I think what Governor Branstad said about [maybe] it's outlived its usefulness is probably very true. Now, that may mean we do away with it or that may mean we change it considerably."

Caviness said that the Straw Poll's biggest advantages are the atmosphere and the ability for Iowans to retain their "first in the nation" status and meet candidates face-to-face, while the biggest challenges are money, space and finding a location.