Retiring Republican Congressman Tom Latham is among those who suggest it’s time to end the Iowa GOP’s Straw Poll which has been a test for the party’s presidential candidates since 1979. Latham says holding another Straw Poll in the summer of 2015 could put Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses “in jeopardy.”
“I think a lot of people on the outside think that we’re like double-dipping and maybe we should thinking about maintaining the Caucuses here rather than the Straw Poll and I guess I would go along with that idea,” Latham says. “The Caucuses are extremely important for Iowa.”
Latham says without the prominence of Iowa’s Caucuses, things like the Renewable Fuels Standard would never have been established.
“That would never happen if it wasn’t for the Iowa Caucuses,” Latham says.
Latham served on the Iowa GOP’s State Central Committee before he was first elected to congress in 1994. He says the Straw Poll has been “very advantageous” for the Iowa Republican Party not only because it’s been a fundraiser, it’s brought international attention to the state, but he suggests “some type” of event could be held in Ames in August of 2015, but “in a different form.”
The Iowa Republican Party’s State Central Committee is scheduled to meet January 10th and deciding the future of the Straw Poll is on their agenda.
Latham made his comments during a recent appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program.