Rubio to sit out Iowa straw poll
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday MORE (R-Fla.) will not participate in the Iowa Straw Poll, adding to a growing list of presidential candidates sitting out the beleaguered event

“We are running a lean campaign, so we will only spend money on contests that award delegates,” Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Conant told Politico. 

Rubio joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in sitting out the event. 


Other candidates are undecided, with the only firm commitment coming from Ben Carson. 

The event, where attendees vote on their preferred candidate, has been criticized as a waste of time and money organizing for an event that has favored contenders with no real chance of winning the nomination. 

The state party, looking to continue the event, has sought to address some of these issues, moving the event from Ames to a smaller venue in Boone, and no longer requiring candidates to pay enormous sums for prime positions and food for attendees.  

The Des Moines Register reported representatives of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry showed up for an informational event on the straw poll Thursday.

The straw poll is scheduled for Aug. 8. 

There is a GOP debate on Aug. 6, just two days before the straw poll. In addition, a RedState gathering, happening the same weekend in Georgia, has generated considerable buzz, with Walker, Bush, Rubio and others confirmed.