Iowa Gov. Branstad: Ames Straw Poll has 'outlived its usefulness'

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said Tuesday that it could be time to retire the Ames Straw Poll.

"I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness," Branstad said of the early Republican presidential poll, according to The Wall Street Journal. "It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was the most recent winner of the August poll.

"You saw what happened the last time," Branstad continued, referring to Bachmann's push to win the poll before her eventual flame-out in the actual Iowa caucuses in January. The Minnesota congresswoman received only 5 percent of the primary vote.

Even though the Ames Straw Poll has only picked the eventual Republican presidential nominee twice (Bob Dole in 1995 and George W. Bush in 1999) in its roughly 30-year history, presidential hopefuls still covet a win in the early survey.

Other prominent Iowa Republicans disagreed with Branstad's comments.

"Gov. Branstad is wrong, and this is not a decision he will make anyway," Iowa Republican Party Chairman A.J. Spiker told the Journal. "It is a decision the party and the candidates will make."

 Spiker added that he was "surprised any Iowan would ever talk [the poll] down."