May 21, 2015

Alice Stewart


Gov. Huckabee announces decision to forego Iowa Straw Poll, focus on Iowa Caucuses

Huckabee: "If conservatives are divided and we lose the Iowa caucuses next year, there will be no winners."

Little Rock, Ark. - In an editorial published today in the Des Moines Register, 2016 presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced his decision to forego the Iowa Straw Poll and invest his resources into running a well-funded and well-organized campaign for the Iowa caucuses.

Here is the text of the full editorial:
My focus is on the Iowa caucuses - not the straw poll
by Governor Mike Huckabee
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Iowa.  My goal is to run a well-funded, well-organized, and well-executed campaign to do extremely well in the Iowa caucuses in 2016.
In 2008, I competed and finished second in the Iowa straw poll - our first big break on our way to winning the Iowa caucuses and receiving the most votes ever cast for a Republican in the history of the Iowa caucuses. But to win in 2016, it's important to learn from the mistakes of the last few election cycles, in which conservatives were divided and opened a path for a more moderate establishment candidate to ultimately win the nomination, only to lose to Obama.
One of the decisions each Republican candidate for president will have to make leading up to the caucuses is whether to invest the resources to participate in this year's August straw poll.  I appreciate the Iowa GOP for recognizing the need for some reforms, but playing to win in the straw poll still requires a heavy concentration of staff and financial resources.
After consulting with many of our Iowa volunteers and supporters, as well as key activists whose opinion we value, I have decided to forego taking part in the Iowa straw poll - or any other straw poll - and will instead focus our campaign's attention and resources on the Iowa caucuses.  
Conservative and hard-working Iowans want a strong and principled conservative Republican nominee for president who represents their values. I have concluded this year's Iowa straw poll will serve only to weaken conservative candidates and further empower the Washington ruling class and their hand-picked candidates.
History will repeat itself if we don't learn from the past. It's clear that pitting conservative candidates with limited resources against each other in a non-binding and expensive summer straw poll battle, while allowing billionaire-backed establishment candidates to sit out, will only wound and weaken the conservative candidates who best represent conservative and hard-working Iowans. 
If conservatives are divided and we lose the Iowa caucuses next year, there will be no winners. 
Past winners in recent straw polls didn't result in caucus victories and we want to dedicate our resources and focus our volunteers in Iowa towards the caucuses, which matter greatly in determining our next president.  And if you question how important the Iowa caucuses really are, just ask our last Republican president or the current Democratic one, who both won the Iowa caucuses on their way to the White House.
We know how important it is for Iowans to pick a principled conservative to launch the next Republican president. Iowans have a tremendously influential role in deciding who the best Republican candidate is to defeat Hillary Clinton and save this great republic. I will continue to work hard to earn each Iowan's vote so we can forever bury the empty promise of 'Hope and Change' and empower every American to go from 'Hope to Higher Ground.'
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and current GOP presidential candidate. Learn more at