The Republican Party of Iowa holds its first meeting Thursday to talk about the much-anticipated Ames Straw Poll in August. And many are watching whether Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
sends a representative, which could signal his presidential ambitions, WIBC 93.1 FM in Indianapolis reported Thursday.
The GOP invited representatives from all the potential presidential contenders. Even if Daniels doesn’t send a delegation, he could still take part in the straw poll, said David Yepsen of Southern Illinois University.
"I don't think they need to have an operative there, because there'll be so many people who do have people there," said Yepsen, who covered seven presidential campaigns for the Des Moines Register. "There is a past tradition and practices; even if Mitch Daniels doesn't have someone in the room, anything that protects the integrity of the process would be something that would benefit him."
The more important deadline is July 23, which is when the Iowa GOP finalize ballot for the August 13 straw poll.
A strong showing in the poll requires organizational strength, Yepsen said. So Daniels' late start makes that much harder, but not impossible to win.
"It gets very difficult to build a traditional organization in a short period of time, but if the enthusiasm is there, some of that will start on its own, much like the tea party, or MoveOn.org on the Democratic side," says Yepsen.
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