In a show of confidence that his moderate political views can win him the nomination, likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has announced that he will not be attending the Iowa Straw Poll in August. Instead, the former governor will make an appearance at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, the same night most other G.O.P. contenders will be showing off their conservative credentials to a room full of Iowa Republicans.
The Iowa Straw Poll has been a Republican tradition in the state since 1979, serving as a fundraiser for the party and a chance for candidates to see where they stand among Iowa’s most enthusiastic voters. The “poll” is more of a show for the state G.O.P. than an accurate predictor of even the Iowa Caucuses which follow 6 months later. In 2012, the Straw Poll was won by Michelle Bachmann, but Rick Santorum prevailed in the Caucuses. In 2008, Mitt Romney took the summer prize, only to be beaten by Mike Huckabee the following winter.
While he won’t be in Iowa this August, Gov. Bush will be there this weekend for a series of events including a state G.O.P. dinner which will also feature the likes of Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Lindsey Graham.
According to the latest average of Iowa presidential polls, Bush currently stands third behind Gov. Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio, despite leading nationally. The newest poll conducted by Quinnipiac (4/25-5/4) shows Bush’s support in Iowa is dwindling however, coming in 7th among 14 potential candidates, with only 5% saying they’d vote for him if the election was held today.