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Al Gore

The Iowa Straw Poll is irrelevant. Is Iowa?

The Iowa Straw Poll is irrelevant. Is Iowa?

In 1987, when Vice President George Bush ran for president, he suffered a major embarrassment early: He lost the Ames Straw Poll to televangelist Pat Robertson. He later lost the Iowa Republican caucuses to Kansas Sen. Bob Dole. In the end, he had to settle for a consolation prize: the presidency, which he won over Democrat Michael Dukakis in November. The Ames event, for decades a marquee event on the campaign calendar, may have taken a fatal blow four years ago – or rather two fatal blows. The first was that victory went to the erratic firebrand Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., whose candidacy soon imploded on her way to coming in last in the caucuses. The second was the...