A republican presidential candidate who left the race last month says IowaRepublicans should do away with this coming weekend’s Straw Poll in Ames. Ohio Congressman John Kasich (kay’-sick) says the Straw Poll diminishes theimportance of the Iowa Caucuses, to be held in precincts around the state inFebruary. Kasich says had he stayed in the race, he would have had to spendabout half a million dollars on entertainment, transportation and25-dollar-a-head tickets to get his supporters to the August 14th StrawPoll.Kasich says the Straw Poll comes so soon, it “short-circuits” thecampaigning for support in the Caucuses.During an appearance on Iowa Public Television, republican presidentialcandidate Orrin Hatch defended the Straw Poll, which is a fundraiser for theIowa Republican Party. Participants have to buy a 25-dollar-ticket to vote.Hatch has traveled extensively through the state the past two weeks. Hatch,who’s a U-S Senator from Utah, says there are about 17-thousand Mormons inIowa who share his faith.Kasich has endorsed George W. Bush’s bid for the Republican party’spresidential nomination.
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